The NCAA

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Completed paper for SAEL 200. Earned an A


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Hunter Hartnett SAEL 200 10 April 2014 Reasoning Paper It 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 threedivision 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 NCAA but 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 quasiendowment 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 Richard Reike and Malcolm 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 the Duke 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 player on 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 then something 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 SEC football 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 underlying 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 If it wasn t for this detail and if those fighting for change didn t believe it would be beneficiary it would be much less of an issue From Nichomachean Ethics every action and choice seems to aim at some good good is that at which all things aim Aristotle 1 Those fighting for change believe that this policy is an injustice by 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 the NCAA Rather they can go on straight to the professional leagues if that s the atmosphere they desire The organization however knows that there are problems with its policy In the Nation Basketball Association s 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement sets in place a restriction on high schools athletes moving straight up into the professional ranks These players must take at least one year off of college before being drafted whether that means playing in college overseas or in another organization The NFL also has a similar rule in place requiring high school athletes to wait three years between graduating and entering the league As you can probably gather these policies play right in to the NCAA s hands From In Truth And Lies In a Nonmoral Sense If he will not be satisfied with the truth in the form of tautology that is to say if he will not be content with empty husks then he will always exchange truths for illusions Nietzsche 890 This illusion of choice leaves players with little other option than to seek employment from the NCAA or risk losing their competitive edge at the next level The argument for player compensation is not without it s flaws and would require serious consideration before any policy is implemented The amateur status of NCAA athletes has been a staple for almost a century and any rule change would be the equivalent to opening a floodgate No rule restriction or regulation would go with out speculation According to Hannah Arendt in The Human Condition the various limits and boundaries may offer protection against the inherent boundlessness of action Arendt 178 I understood this in the context of the situation as an assertion that with out the strict regulations implement by the NCAA more problems would occur Strict restrictions keep things in place and running smoothly and allow little room for error or misinterpretation Altering the tight rules regarding player benefits could lead to further problems such as rule changes being too commonly proposed and loopholes or gray areas being accidentally created Too much change could likely result in regression rather than progression and would be a political and financial nightmare for the NCAA James Rachels in The Elements of Moral Philosophy also questions the concept of progression On the topic of Cultural Recidivism he says Progress means replacing a way of doing things with a better way But by what standard do we judge the new ways as better Rachels 22 This idea raises a good question would paying college athletes or allowing them to seek outside compensation actually be progressive Or would it just be new and in the end result in regression for the NCAA Accounting for social recidivism I believe that a player benefit rule change would fit in perfectly with our society a society where one expects credit acknowledgment and compensation for every act accomplish With the incoming entitlement generation it would be foolish to deny that these changes will continued to be pressed upon in the near future With these arguments as well as new information brought to light weekly it is apparent that the NCAA is in for change The extent of these revisions remain to be seen but if the NCAA wishes to appease the masses expect rapid changes in the near future Works Cited Arendt Hannah The Human Condition Second ed Chicago University of Chicago 1998 Web 9 Apr 2014 Aristotle Nichomachean Ethics Massachusetts n p 2002 10 Apr 2014 Web Gorwitz Zach Money Madness Why and How NCAA Athletes Should Be Paid Duke Political Review Duke Political Review 2013 1 3 Duke Political Review 1 Oct 2013 Web 9 Mar 2014 Nietzche Friedrich On Truth and Lies in a Non Moral Sense Enlightenment Rhetoric Web 10 Apr 2014 Rachels James The Elements of Moral Philosophy 2nd ed McGraw Hill 1993 University of Alabama at Birmingham Web 10 Apr 2014 Rieke Richard and Malcom Sillars The Nature of Arguments N p n p n d University of Utah 11 Apr 2014 Web Shafer Landau Russ The Fundamentals of Ethics Second ed New York City University Of Wisconsin Madison Oxford University Press Web 9 Apr 2014


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