Blog Entry # 9: College Athletics and My Issue with the NCAA

This semester we have continually discussed college sports and the impact that revenues have on college athletics. One particular organization that has a huge impact on college athletics and ultimately dictates how things are done is the NCAA. This is the governing body for all of college athletics and oversees virtually every aspect from compliance to academics, to ticket revenue, and sponsorships. One of the most interesting aspects of the NCAA is that they force the college athletes to adhere to a strict set of rules and principles which is good for the most part, however there are several flaws. In the past several years many of these flaws have been exposed and brought to the public’s attention. One of the main problems is the policy regarding what is deemed an “impermissible benefit” and what constitutes the player receiving special treatment. In our class we watched the video about the NCAA and the president Mark Emmert was being interviewed. One of the alarming things that stood out to me was how much money the NCAA makes and how much the actual schools keep. Even more disturbing is the fact that so many athletes cannot afford to have their family members and friends come see them play due to NCAA regulations. One of the more frustrating aspects is that Mark Emmert actually makes about $1.6 million per year which is alarming considering how the NCAA is supposed to be organized as a non-profit organization (Berkowitz, 2012). By rule, a university or coach cannot pay for that player’s family members to attend any games or even pay for them to stay in a hotel on a road trip. This is upsetting due to the fact that many of these players cannot afford to pay for their family to travel and traveling is expensive already. I definitely feel that some of the rules and policies of the NCAA need to be reviewed and ultimately altered to allow stipulations for the universities or even the NCAA to possibly pay for the player’s families to attend games or tournaments. One example of an incident relating to this topic was during last years’ NCAA March Madness tournament when a player from Kansas State University was suspended for having his former AAU basketball coach wire him money. To some of these players their former coaches are like family to them, so to them it may not seem like a violation and they are aware of the consequences regarding taking money or having contacts from agents. It seems as if nowadays, anytime a college player is given a ride to dinner or is spotted with a former player from that school who is now a professional; the NCAA is investigating and is quick to jump to conclusions. I believe that the ultimate purpose of the NCAA should be to ensure that the student athletes are being treated fairly and are receiving a proper education while having the opportunity to excel in athletics as well. They should focus less on trying to find ways to deem a player ineligible or get that player in trouble and focus more on helping them to grow as young adults. Another critical decision made by Emmert which some may find to be too severe was his punishments that he handed down to Penn State. It will almost cripple the school financially and set them back for the next ten to fifteen tears (Mandel, 2012). Along this subject, there is also the debate about whether or not college athletes should get paid. I do not believe that college athletes should get “salaries” but I do think that they should get small allowances, however I think that their coaches should be in charge of their allowances so that they do not abuse the money. Many Division I college athletes, especially basketball and football players already have their tuition paid for as well as a decent meal plan, and they also receive countless clothing and apparel from the school. They also receive rewards for going to bowl games and tournaments, so I think that they are already receiving a good deal financially. I believe that the NCAA could re-shift their focus towards implementing barriers to keep agents away from college campuses or to have some sort of first time offenders plan thereby if a player did something wrong by accident they could provide a legitimate reason and possibly be given a warning. Many of these ideas may seem far-fetched but I just feel that with all of the money that the NCAA makes and retains, the organization could use some of that money more purposefully instead of trying to look for reasons why a student athlete should not be able to participate.

 Berkowitz, S. (2012, July 9). Ncaa president mark emmert paid at nearly $1.6m per year. USA Today, Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/college/story/2012-07-09/NCAA-Mark-Emmert-salary/56117864/1

 Mandel, S. (2012, July 23). Ncaa’s mark emmert overstepped bounds in hammering penn state. Sports Illustrated.com, Retrieved from http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/07/23/penn-state-ncaa-sanctions/index.html

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