The Name of the Game: Unpaid College Athletes

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Fans of a celebrity or athlete jump for joy at any opportunity to support the people they idolize. There is no better example of this love than the recent scandal of Antoine Turner. Turner is a college student who has just signed with Boise State University’s football team. Turner lost one parent during childhood, and was estranged from the other. He lived in California with his uncle for some time, but certain state laws prevented him from living there any longer. Without a family to return to in his native New Orleans, Turner had no place to stay and was considered homeless. When fans of the football program at Boise State caught wind about the homeless freshman, many reached out to help him. However, due to restrictions that are imposed on players by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, (NCAA), Turner could not accept a roof over his head, a meal, or a single cent, due to fear of becoming ineligible to play for accepting what the NCAA has dubbed “impermissible benefits” (Harris-Gershon 1). This is a prime example of the issues that many college athletes struggle to overcome as they are faced with academic strain, no way to earn money, and a complete loss of the rights to their merchandise, numbers, and names as they fall under the rule-bound umbrella that is the NCAA. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, regulates all aspects of collegiate sports, including payment of athletes, or rather, lack thereof. Although many people believe that attending America’s top universities on scholarships is payment enough, the NCAA should change its rules on player payment because it would encourage players to stay in school, help players who live below the poverty line, and distribute the money to the players who rig... ... middle of paper ... ...e Athletes Continues As Institutions Gain Billions” Mint Press News. 19 Mar. 2012. 15 Apr. 2014 . “National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)” World of Sports Science. 17 May 2014 . O’Neil, Dana. “Student-Athletes Ask; Will NCAA Listen?” ESPN. 25 Oct. 2011. 15 Apr. 2014. . “Playing Sports In College: Your Options” The College Board. 15 Apr. 2014 . Schoettle, Anthony. “Rising Pay for Coaches Puts Pressure on Athletic Departments” Indianapolis Business Journal. 23 Jan 2013. 27 Apr 2014. . “SN Names the 20 Smartest Athletes in Sports.” Sporting News. 2 Oct. 2013. 17 May. 2014 . “Study: The Price Of Poverty In Big Time College Sport”. National College Players Association. 15 Apr. 2014. .

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