Field Hands on the University Plantation

“Slavery analogies should be used carefully. College athletes are not slaves. Yet to survey the scene—corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as “student-athletes” deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution—is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation. Perhaps a more apt metaphor is colonialism: college sports, as overseen by the NCAA, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with hoary sentiments about caring for the well-being of the colonized. But it is, nonetheless, unjust. The NCAA, in its zealous defense of bogus principles, sometimes destroys the dreams of innocent young athletes.”

To read the entire story click here: The Shame of College Sports – Magazine – The Atlantic.


2 thoughts on “Field Hands on the University Plantation

  1. I have been in favor of paying college athletes for decades. As a reporter and, later, editor for my university newspaper, I received wages for hours worked. I see nothing wrong with paying student-athletes a stipend for as long as they’re active on a team, regardless of whether they’re able to play or not. The stipend should be at least minimum wage and the student-athlete would be allowed to retain any sports scholarship received. This pays tuition, room & board and books and provides the student-athlete with some recompense for their sports obligations. They don’t need to get rich, they just need something in return for all their time and effort. This idea might not obliterate the scandals, but it would (I hope) cause most student-athletes to stop and consider what they’d be giving up if they were offered money or perks that, under NCAA rules, they aren’t allowed to have. Thoughts?

    • I favor paying college athletes too. I see no reason for coaches to make millions of dollars in salaries, and colleges to earn millions on television deals and advertising contracts, while young athletes get nothing in return but the benefit of being exploited. Under the current arrangement, the schools and coaches are just pimps in academic drag (caps and gowns). Also, given the abysmal graduation rates of athletes at most colleges and universities, a large percentage of them will finish their amateur careers with little to show after four or five years in school. A salary can’t compensate for a missed education, but it can help to reduce some of the silly scandals that occur under the plantation-style rules of the NCAA regarding gifts, etc.

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