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Pay for Play

October 4, 2019

In November 2017, I raised a subject that is now “in the news.”  College sport, amateur athletics and abuse of college athletes.

One semester that I was in a special Latin class at Loyola University-Chicago, I was “roomed” on the same dormitory floor with Loyola’s basketball team.  These were very gifted African American athletes who, to my knowledge, were admitted to play basketball and win a national title, but not graduate.

All universities “use” college athletes and in some instances derive significant income from winning teams and in case of celebrity players, income is derived using their name and image on sales that do not financially benefit the players.

Here’s what I argued:

A. Is big time college sports out of control?

You bet!

B. If so, what can be done to diminish sporting events from detracting from the academic mission of accredited colleges and universities

Forget “amateur” sports, they don’t exist. Treat college players as professional athletes and compensate them appropriately. Organize college basketball, baseball and football under the auspices of the professional basketball, baseball and football leagues. Treat them as you would minor-league teams and hold a competition where all the “big league” sport teams are sold to the professional leagues.

C. Are student athletes taken advantage of by “the system” of college sport and should they be granted the rights of collective bargaining?

You bet!

American higher education needs to face reality and stop exploiting college athletes. As this report from indicates, finally, this issue is front and center in higher education.


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