Thanks for nothing: NCAA leaving athletes hurt and hungry

Actions of the NCAA and the treatment of student athletes has long been a major issue.

The rise of the NCAA from a small overlooked office into the most powerful, non-profit governing bodies in the world of sport is tracked , as we are shown the evolution of sponsorship and media rights , worth fortunes , in which the students receive nothing in compensation for their service except a degree.

But this questions the ethical side of some colleges , leading to the comment “ These kids get a degree but not an education.”

According to Qina Liu from the Pro Player Insider college sports generate billions of dollars worth of ticket sales ($1.6 billion), corporate sponsorships ($1.5 billion), TV contracts ($1.2 billion), donations ($1.5 billion), and royalties for licensing and merchandise ($0.5 billion) and none goes to support the daily needs.

Players simply receive a degree in exchange in a field that does not promise success but instead is an education that revolves around the world of their sport. And what bigger sport than football to set our example.

University of North Carolina , ranked top 100 for football, recently announced that “they could not conclude nor comment on” their recent scandal with decades of allowing athletes slide with “paper classes.”

“Paper classes” are courses that allow athletes to skim through their classwork, illegally covered by professors and administration, in order to meet its requirements. These struggling athletes are instead directed to focus on their performance on the field rather then their academic success in the classroom in order to keep them eligible.

The hypocrisy from these colleges such as UNC bleeds through their supposed intention to truly help these athletes succeed beyond the field. The NCAA and universities all around run their athletes as a cartel in which only bring in money they do not see.

Houston Texans’ running back Arian Foster commented on his time at the University of Tennessee and said “There was plenty of times where throughout the month I didn’t have enough food.” An issue universities put athletes through everyday leaving them without a way of accessing food.

Many universities succeed in filling their responsibility of feeding these athletes by giving them an inadequate meal plan that doesn’t cover their appetite. Thus leading most into a state of ambiguity not knowing where their next meal will come from.

“I called my coach after opening an empty fridge and told him “ Coach I ain’t got no food , no money , I’m about to do something stupid.” Arian Foster added.

“Our stadium had like 107,000 seats, 107,000 people buying the ticket to come and watch us play…I go to my dorm, open the fridge and there’s nothing in the fridge.… Why don’t I have something to show for what I did…. It’s total bullshit, but you don’t say anything because if you say anything, you step out of line and that will hurt your chances of getting to that next level.”

As shocking as the reality is we as consumers of these games and merchandise result in the rape of these student athletes liberty to speak the truth.

The truth being that the NCAA and universities are in a gambling play in which deliberately exclude these athletes for having a say in their in their own future as not only an athlete but as a student.

The NCAA has these student athletes by the throat filling them with pride with the amateur level in which they play with. And of course, Amateurs aren’t paid.

Amateurism is just what the NCAA held onto when Alvis Kent Waldrep sued Texas Christian University for his permanent paralysis as a running back when playing for Alabama’s Crimson Tide.
TCU claimed to not be responsible for the injuries that he was affected with and later took him off his football scholarship leaving him with no possibility of staying in school.

Waldrep is among many athletes that year after year get affected by the NCAA’s infidelity towards their athletes. Let’s take a more recent athlete as an example, San Diego State University’s very own full back Isaac Lessard.

Lessard recently suffered a number of concussions during his junior training camp in which he was deemed unavailable to play for his upcoming season. His medical consultants advised to terminate his time playing football as another concussion would result in fatal results.

Regardless of his medical diagnosis Lessard still continues to play as the starting fullback at SDSU nevertheless still pursuing his “free education” the NCAA trades in turn for his devoted labor.

Despite the pedestals in which we admire these athletes, they are ferociously suffering at the hands of this brutal dictatorship. A cartel in which they can’t escape without sacrificing their minds and bodies.

So are we leaving a legacy for the fans or the athletes that are sacrificing themselves for those fans?

Think about that the next time you watch a football game.

Author: Monica Navarrete

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