WHAT IT IS
- Amateurism is a policy governing NCAA college sports to ensure a clear distinction between college sports and professional sports.
- Amateurism exists to prevent the exploitation of nearly half a million student-athletes annually.
- NCAA March Madness Tournament is part of a long-standing debate on amateurism; Should student-athletes be contractually paid for their talents on display?
WHY IT MATTERS
The NCAA and school athletic departments make millions of dollars in revenue from school sponsored athletics. Student-athletes argue they should be able to profit off their value, just like any college student.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- In 2015, the NCAA introduced stipends, but players still do not feel they are receiving their full worth
- College coaches are among the highest-paid state employees, while players make nothing
- Only a small fraction of NCAA athletes become professionals in their respective sports, with even fewer making life-changing amounts of money as professional athletes
- Student-athletes are subject to an extremely specific set of NCAA compliance rules, which has led to awkward issues such as violations for ham sandwiches, pasta dinners, and even cream cheese with their bagels
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Are amateurism arguments being made on behalf of these few elite athletes or on behalf of the many more who “go pro” in other fields?
- Where does this put the significant majority of college athletes, who play sports without major professional leagues and are the NCAA’s model of student-athlete amateurism?