Nevin Shapiro and More: NCAA Is a Petri Dish of Modern-Day Slavery

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for Free Speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. In this special edition, Luke calls for an end to NCAA rules prohibiting athletes from making money.

Since it was founded in 1905, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is responsible for the cesspool of corruption that has plagued college sports. It is impossible for the NCAA to continue business as usual in the wake of the mind-blowing allegations Yahoo! Sports has made against the University of Miami football and basketball programs. The ridiculous system preventing student athletes from getting paid or receiving anything of value must be scrapped.

More than a century of treating student athletes like indentured servants is finally catching up to the NCAA. How can anyone expect college players to be satisfied with just getting a scholarship and free room and board at a major university that rakes in tens of millions of dollars annually from conference television deals, bowl games, and the NCAA basketball tournament? It's downright ludicrous.

Roughly 95 percent of the athletes playing football and basketball are African-Americans who come from disadvantaged homes in the inner city. These kids are the only hope their families have of escaping financial and social ruin. When these kids sign letters of intent, they are essentially giving up basic freedoms afforded to everybody else.

Unlike kids who receive full academic scholarships, student athletes must surrender their right to work. They are not allowed to hold a job. So if you're an 18-year-old wide receiver with a baby, how can you help feed and care for your child? How can society expect a young father to play football for four years without any financial benefit to his family? Even Olympians are allowed endorsement deals.

Universities should either start paying athletes or set up trusts with money earned from bowl games, basketball tournaments, and television contracts to share the wealth with the players.

Furthermore, the recent scandals at Ohio State, Oregon, North Carolina, and other major schools show it is virtually impossible to keep tabs on what very single student athlete is up to. You can't punish them because they are acting their age. Seriously, what 19- or 20-year-old would turn down free drinks at a nightclub or a boat outing on Biscayne Bay?

But the boosters like punk ass Nevin Shapiro who corrupt the student athletes definitely know better. Shapiro knew he was using UM football and basketball players and coaches to build a name for himself. So if anybody deserves to be sanctioned and put on a leash by the NCAA and university honchos, it's the people who pour money into the athletic programs to get access to the players. Ban all boosters who run amok like Shapiro from interaction with the student athletes. Any booster who violates that rule gets kicked out of the university for life.

It's time to emancipate collegiate athletics.

Follow Luke on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
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12 comments
Wh
Wh

They get an education that in many cases they would not otherwise be able to attain through lack of sufficient academic qualifications.

The scholarships, at schools like Stanford, are worth 200K, meaning that the majority of athletes come out >200K better than those who actually got into the schools on the basis of grades and who had to take loans to pay for school. Guess what, that's getting paid. That 50K a year is nothing compared to a NFL contract, but most college football player don't go to the NFL, and 50K is comparable to the average median income in the US and is in line with minor pro incomes.

Want to pay them, then give up the scholarships, only allow the players into schools that they can get into on the basis of academics, then make them pay tuition.

Chris18
Chris18

FYI Luke, student athletes are allowed to work.

Rachel
Rachel

You make a few good points, but don't compare student athletes to Olympians!!  And the statement "How can anyone expect college players to be satisfied with just getting a scholarship and free room-and-board..."--- you've got to be kidding---  if being accepted to a college/university, playing games, getting top training, academics, room board and the gazillion other perks that come with a ligit scholarship isn't enough-- get a life and go find your future elsewhere, no one is forcing your 18 year old unemployable baby's dady to play college ball!

Nevin
Nevin

lol @ this tired ass slavery argument. terrible analogy. almost as bad as any 2 live crew album.

Esco869
Esco869

They make millions off the backs of young teenagers on top of which they don't give them a dime! Wait the kicker is they play with all they have and still yet no ones has a promise to the NBA! I wouldn't say slavery I would say prostitution! Use them in the of their youth dump them when the money making eligibility is over!!!!!!!!!

Doug-g
Doug-g

You've got your numbers way off. The facts:"African-American student-athletes, who now comprise 58 percent of all Division I male basketball players, 45 percent of all Division I football players and 44 percent of all Division I female basketball players."  Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn...I don't disagree with your comments but feel adding a contrived racial overtone to it is just wrong and racist in and of itself...

Nsi Obotetukudo
Nsi Obotetukudo

What exactly is wrong with his Olympian point? Is it that you do not legitimately see any similarities between the two or is there some other reason the two should not be loosely compared as Luke has done here? 

Student athlete's are being taking advantage off. Their perks are minimal if existent at all. And there needs to be a change to the way these players are being treated financially. 

First, you've mentioned "playing games," "getting top training," as one of a "gazillion .. perks" afforded to these athletes but isn't "perk" by definition "an advantage or benefit following from a job or situation" (See Merriam-Webster)? If so, what constitutes a student athlete's job, if not to be an athlete (e.g., said "playing games, getting top training," etc.) and to be a student (e.g., academics, etc.), where then "perks" are by your definition "room board" "getting accepted to a college/university" and "the gazillion others" then I'd say these are "perks" are also afforded to other students at the same institutions.

Second, student athletes do not face an advantage over other students, in fact they face more of a disadvantage. Their "job" requires they maintain a minimum GPA and remain athletically able, lest they loose their scholarship, and may thereby loose their job. Luke's quoted 95% face the added pressure to perform athletically, if not at a bare minimum, and to perform academically to keep their seat at school with all those other fortunate enough to be accepted. 

Over the aggregate, student athletes, unfortunately face more rigorous workloads than the average student, this is why in the job market, academically successful student athletes are revered and believe to be more disciplined, focused, and capable that the average student. That said, the rigors of playing games, and top training do have a significant impact on the average student-athlete's ability to fully take advantage of "the gazillion other perks" also afforded to other students. For example, work experience attained through internships, research experience attained during the summer, study-abroad opportunities, and access to the faculty outside of the classroom, among "other gazillion" perks become difficult if not impossible to take advantage of when an athlete is required by their athletic obligations to endure "top training," and "play[] games."  

Finally, this isn't even touching on the economic affect student-athlete's have on the collegial ecosystem, locally and nationally via the NCAA. These athletes make it possible for the multi-million if not multi-billion collegiate sports industry to thrive and unfortunately they remain unpaid cogs a machine.While Luke's argument is not bulletproof, he is heading what I believe to be the right direction. Student-athletes are by far on the short end of the stick. Universities and the NCAA advantage far more from student athletes than average student athlete advantages from universities and/or the NCAA. Despite your own veiled prejudices (see "no one is forcing your 18 year old unemployable baby's dady to play college ball") and mischaracterization of "perks" (see above, "gazillion other perks") student athletes are not being fairly treated on a macroeconomic level. They are hard working cogs in the machine being exploited by larger bodies (e.g., NCAA) that operate this exploitation behind the guise of hollow moral ideals and standards. 

Some solutions may include: 

(a) as Luke mentioned a trust available to student-athletes; 

(b) a step further said trust could be redeemable by students who have played but lost their scholarships due to injury, their share could be restricted to school related expenses alone, that way students are at least able to maintain their academic pursuits without financial worry for as long as they are entitled; 

(c) a another (same or alternative) step, is to provide each student-athlete a share of the trust (commensurate with their length of play and perhaps minimally their overall contribution) only upon successful graduation from college. This may also encourage students to finish out their college tenure. Perhaps a larger portion of the trust is granted to students who excel academically as well.

This topics deserves an actionable debate unfortunately i'm not sure it will get what it deserves.

Elpingu
Elpingu

Did you get knocked up by a college ball player???? Damn hoodrat!!

Rachel
Rachel

I really enjoyed your response.  I appreciate your point of views.-Rachel

Rachel
Rachel

Elpingu- not sure I understand your comment or what it means or what would illicit this particular response from my comment.    If I take it literally, then no I was not knocked up by a player.  And nope- not a hoodrat. Are you??

Communication is the foundation for every relation:)

Rachel
Rachel

thanks Nsi!  you are surely right about my tone- but i thought I did well on this one.  I still don't understand how/why Elpingu's response makes any sense.

Nsi Obotetukudo
Nsi Obotetukudo

Perhaps it was your implicitly prejudicial statement "get a life and go find your future elsewhere, no one is forcing your 18 year old unemployable baby's dady to play college ball," that illicit Elpingu's particular response. 

You're right, "communication is the foundation for every relation." That said, it might help to be mindful of tone and your objectivity while communicating.

Carry on

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