Even Playing Field? Winning Athletic Program Can Bring Millions of Dollars and Instant Notoriety to a School. but Some Say College Athletes Are Getting Played in the Process

By Ford, William J. | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, April 28, 2011 | Go to article overview

Even Playing Field? Winning Athletic Program Can Bring Millions of Dollars and Instant Notoriety to a School. but Some Say College Athletes Are Getting Played in the Process


Ford, William J., Diverse Issues in Higher Education


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

An athletic scholarship at Wake Forest University includes books, tuition and thousands of dollars per semester to rent an apartment, pay utilities and purchase food and other personal items.

Gary Clark, a senior who will graduate May 16 with a degree in mathematics, says athletes deserve a little more.

"Let's say you have $10 a ticket and 10,000 people at every game. The school is definitely making more than what your scholarship costs. Football and basketball bring in a lot of revenue," says the 21-year-old, who plays guard on the men's basketball team.

"At a lot of schools, players come from underprivileged families. I know we are getting a scholarship, but some folks don't have cash to get something to eat when the school cafeteria is closed, or money to buy a used car," he continues. "I am not saying we should get paid with a full-time salary, but a stipend would be nice."

The National Collegiate Athletic Association governs intercollegiate sports under the premise of amateurism. NCAA President Mark Emmert says that premise is incompatible with the idea of paying players. But "amateur" in no way means "nonprofit." The NCAA signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion contract last year with CBS and Turner Sports to air March Madness, the men's Division l basketball tournament. College football's Bowl Championship Series is in the midst of a $125 million television deal with ESPN. A deep run during March Madness or a victory in a high-profile BCS bowl game can mean millions of dollars both to the university and to its conference. The monetary award for the athletes themselves? Zero.

The long-running debate about whether to pay players for their athletic accomplishments has garnered renewed attention recently due to a rash of scandals involving some of the nation's highest profile players and programs. In a story that aired in March on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," several former Auburn University football players recounted receiving cash from boosters during recruiting trips and after games. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton won the 2010 Heisman Trophy while leading the Tigers to the BCS national title but spent much of the season dogged by an NCAA investigation into allegations Newton's father demanded $180,000 from Mississippi State University in exchange for his son's commitment to play there. Mississippi State refused the offer, and Newton enrolled at Auburn, although there is no indication a "pay-for-play" demand was made or accepted by the school.

Elsewhere, University of Georgia star wide receiver A.J. Green was suspended four games after selling a game-worn jersey for $1,000. Five Ohio State University football players, including potential Heisman candidate Terrelle Pryor, are facing five-game suspensions in 2011 for selling memorabilia and receiving discounted services from a tattoo parlor. The University of North Carolina's football season was derailed almost before it began after several players were suspended tot receiving improper benefits from agents. And the University of Southern California was forced to vacate wins in football and basketball after an NCAA investigation concluded that Heisman-winning running back Reggie Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo had each received benefits from agents. The violations cost USC its 2005 BCS title and prompted the school to return Bush's Heisman Trophy.

The scandals have prompted some to question why schools and the NCAA can profit from a player's on-field exploits while the players cannot. Ironically, soon after Green was suspended, the University of Nebraska auctioned off a game jersey worn by star quarterback Taylor Martinez. The winning bid was $1,000.

"The coaches and other officials get paid quite well. They probably deserve [their money] and work extremely hard, but so do the players," says attorney Ion King, who is representing former college athletes in a class action suit against the NCAA.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Even Playing Field? Winning Athletic Program Can Bring Millions of Dollars and Instant Notoriety to a School. but Some Say College Athletes Are Getting Played in the Process
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.