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SC SAEL 200 - College Athelete - The NCAA

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Hunter HartnettSAEL 20010 April 2014Reasoning PaperIt no longer comes as a surprise when we see large organizations in the news.It happens weekly, and more often than not, it’s negative press. What does come as a surprise, especially as of lately, is how common it is to see the governing body of college athletics in the United States criticized by the media. One popular topic as of late involves allowing players to receive, and especially the hypocrisy behind the NCAA’s blatant refusal to allow change. With more information brought to light almost daily, the NCAA is fighting and increasingly tough case. With that being said, it’s time for the NCAA to seriously consider revising rules prohibiting players profiting off of college athletics.The NCAA, which is the largest college athletics association in the world, was officially established on March 31, 1906 as the IAAUS (Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States). The association changed its name to the current title in 1910, and held its first national championship, in track and field, in 1921. The“modern era” of the NCAA began in 1952, when it’s headquarters were moved to Kansas City. The association stayed in Kansas City until 1999, when it moved to it’s current headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NCAA adopted its current three-division system in 1973, and separated football in to the sub divisions 1-A and 1-AA in 1978. Women’s athletics, which were not previously offered through the NCAAbut rather another organization, were introduced in 1980. After the implementation of Title IX in the 1990’s, there were as many women’s sports as men’s sports with in the NCAA. Currently, the NCAA awards 89 championships yearly, ranging from popular sports such as football to less known sports such as skiing. The NCAA has over 1200 member institutions, ranging in size from over 50,000 students at The Ohio State University to much smaller Division III schools with under 600 enrolled students. The organization has continued expanding under the current president, Mark Emmert, and is much larger than other college athletic organizations in the United States such as the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and the NJCAA (junior college). It has grown tremendously in the last couple decades, and is one of the largest athletic organizations in the world.The NCAA has no shortage of capital flowing in to the non-profit organization. In 2012, the athletic association raked in over $876.1 million in revenue, and ran a $71 million dollar surplus after all expenses at the end of the year. That figure, as high as it is, is dwarfed by the NCAA’s year-end net assets, which are worth over $550 billion, according to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today. This figure has doubled since 2006, and is reaching staggering heights for an organization that has still been able to retain it’s tax exempt status. The NCAA also manages it’s own endowment fund, which was worth $282 million as of 2012. It is a quasi-endowment, so the money is meant to be retained and invested. However, unlike a permanent endowment, these assets can be withdrawn and spent by the organization.These staggering financial statistics have brought up questions regarding the NCAA’s status and non-profit status, as well as ethical questions regarding the association’s treatment of its member athletes. The revenues and profits alone have caused many in and around the media to call for college athletes to receive “their due.” Reike and Sillars discuss this in The Nature of Arguments, explaining the rhetorical strategy “argument by cause.” Simply put, “When people find that something is a problem, they seek to find a cause for it” (Reike/Sillars 105). Coaches and staff of large programs across the country are making record amounts of money;many are worth millions of dollars. According to Fox News, “Florida [basketball] coach Billy Donovan has signed a three-year contract extension that raises his average salary to $3.7 million over the next six years” (Fox). In comparison, according to Nerd Wallet Finance writer Sreekar Jasthi, “Michael Frazier II has the most win shares for No. 1-ranked Florida and is therefore projected to have the highest player value on his team—just shy of $1.2 million.” Frazier, however, will likely never see a dime of the money he’s brought in. He isn’t alone. Jabari Parker, theDuke freshman was worth over $2.3 million, and will be worth more next year pending his return. In fact, the average (including reserves) college basketball playeron a team ranked in the top 25 is worth just over $475,000. The recent appearance of these figures in the news over the passed five to eight years have raised calls for equality for the players. It’s a basic ethical principle, if the players are doing as much work as the coaches and staff, they should be receiving the same benefits. In the “Fundamentals of Ethics,” by Russ Shafer-Landau, he states “people who are alike in all relevant aspects should get similar treatment. When this fails to happen…thensomething has gone wrong” (Shafer-Landau 6). The players put in as much work, if not more than the coaches, but are snubbed from receiving their share. It is to be noted that these big money coaches are neither greedy nor satisfied with their compensation compared to their players. They have been fighting just as hard for their players. The topic of player pay has been brought up at a majority of recent SECfootball meetings, with prominent coaches such as our very Steve Spurrier (University of South Carolina) offering to pay his players out of his very own pocket. The problem is that these athletes have almost no other option for playing at a top level after high school. According to Zach Borowitz, in his article “Money Madness” in the Duke Political Review, “Economically defined, the NCAA is a monopsony…one buy in a market of sellers…if I want to play college football, I’d have no choice but to seek employment from the NCAA.” This allows the NCAA to set their rules and regulations however they want, as there are no opposing organizations that they deem competition. The NCAA, and president Mark Emmert, maintain a strong denial of these claims. Their stance is that if these potential athletes wish to focus more on athletics and do not wish to become “student-athletes,” than they do not have to attend college or participate in


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