Your youngster is a stand-out!
It turns out that your goofy kid, the one who always says, “What?” whenever you ask them a question, is a talented athlete, a top competitor. Dreams of scholarships to college, followed by professional contracts, spur you forward to provide cash-draining extra professional coaching, specialty camps, and AAU meets where they can get noticed and compete against the best in their sport’s age group. The future looks bright, glistening with medals, trophies, and money.
How I got from #CTE to NCAA
I began this journey of discovery into the ravages of contact sports when I learned that kids killed themselves by suicide, directly or through reckless behavior, when they could no longer live with the pain of damaged brains destroyed by #CTE #Concussions. Then, I learned, Pro’s who can no longer play are afflicted with the same disease — traumatic brain injury, which if it doesn’t cause suicide, causes erratic behavior, memory loss, depression, and/or a complete breakdown with zero quality of life. People are not disposable for any reason. Period.
If parents had known, if the players had known, would they have made the same choices? Pro-players are educating themselves and they’re opting out of the game for longer lives and healthier brains – if they can. Contracts, financial promise, and debt, made on that promise, may force them to play until they no longer can.
College wants You!
Their path to fame and fortune, between high school and the Pro’s is college. An players 18-22 are at their peak of performance. A college offers a spot on a Division 1 team and the dream is prolonged. The Pro’s are only four years away — if your player is exceptional and can remain healthy.
However, remember, signing is a choice. Your child, if they sign, will be “student athlete” and who agrees to the designation of “amateur.” An amateur defined as someone who participates purely for the love of the sport and does not expect compensation for athletic performance. This is important because they are about to sell their college life to the big business, $17 billion dollar cartel, the NCAA.
Richard G. Johnson, a lawyer whose arbitration, litigation, and trial practice is limited to plaintiff’s lawyer and sports agent malpractice and related legal ethics and professional responsibility issues, explains this in his blog post. The Letter of Intent, which your child signs, is about controlling their amateurism as well as their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). Division I, Division II. III, and NAIA [National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics]athletes are the beneficiaries of athletic scholarships (more specifically referred to as grants-in-aid). They sign an agreement with the college or university in the form of a letter of intent, which is a binding agreement between the athlete and an institution. This agreement provides that in exchange for the athlete’s services in their sport, they will have tuition, room, board, and books paid for by the institution. However, no financial compensation may be awarded to athletes in exchange for their athletic talents in that particular sport.
It’s college — that seems fair.
The joy of acceptance is quickly followed concern that your child will not be able to earn any money during the next four years, followed by the ray of hope that they will make the PROS. What you may not know is that your child will be a part of the main workforce that fills the coffers of the NCAA, which then pays the school, and the coach. Yes. Your brilliant athlete will work for free, with no possible reimbursement, a dubious education, and a poverty-like existence.
College teams are the professional farm teams
College teams work for the NCAA, the organization which acts in the role of media and product overseer. All contracts for media coverage and product placement for all member schools go through NCAA. They enforce “amateurism” for all players, they distribute 96% of all proceeds from exclusive contracts to their members in proportion to their standings in the NCAA tournaments.
College teams are mini-pro teams
College teams, especially the huge revenue producers like Division 1 football and basketball, live in team housing, eat with the team, and because of their training schedule, only leave team facilities to attend classes. They rarely interact with college life, enjoy the exploration of options, and the freedom of living away from home. They are expected to eat, train, and study – often with tutors – with training and playing their top, and only, priority. College athletes take the same risks as professional athletes without pay.
NCAA payouts to member and coaches are dependent on tournament results
Think about that. The better the team does, the more money the coach makes, the more money the school makes. How much pressure do you imagine is placed on the players to train hard and play hard? It is not about a player being chosen for a PRO team, it is about the money. Coaches want the playoff financial incentives and will push their players as hard as they can. Schools look the other way because they also want the money.
Sheila Dingus, Editor/writer at Advocacy for Fairness in Sports.org, tweets, “To the victims of [coaching] abuse: ‘Shut up and dribble, tackle, or flip.’ To those who collapse near death: ‘Drag his [or her] ass off the field.’ To the public: ‘Move along, nothing to see here folks.’”
How much money are we talking about?
Thanks to Stephen G. Johnson’s research, This graph shows NCAA revenue for Division 1-1A schools, and how much they make off of each athlete.
|NCAA||Estimated Revenue||Dept. of Education||2016-17|
|Power 5: 61%||7,100,000,000|
|Group of 5: 19%||2,800,000,000|
|NCAA Revenue Per Player|
|Power 5: men||3,600,000,000||75.90%||864,000,000||64.80%|
|Group of 5:men||664,000,000||14%||220,000,000||16.50%|
|Group of 5:women||118,000,000||29.20%|
|NCAA Revenue/Player: adjusted for grants-in-aid scholarships|
|Power 5: men||880,734.47||1,382,744.90|
|Power 5: women||138,383.46|
|Group of 5: men||174,558.53||373,973.94|
|Group of 5: women||123,319.89|
But, but, WHAT ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIPS?
Sure, the NCAA supports scholarships, but they do not take any responsibility for a student’s insurance, injury, scholarship, living expenses, care, workman’s comp, or anything related to the student’s well-being or actual education as they are considered non-employees.
Graduation rates which show a clear racial bias
Again from Richard G. Johnson, in 2017, according to the College Sports Research Institute, the graduation rate for Power Five football players was 61.1% (74.2% for white players, 54.4% for black players) versus 79.3% for the full-time male student body. For P5 basketball players, the graduation rate was 45.0% (58.3% for white players, 41.0% for black players) versus 79.5% for the full-time male student body. The graduation gap between white and black players is more than six times in P5 football and almost twice in P5 basketball, so the racial impact here is palpable. With a less than two percent draft rate to the NFL and NBA, most of these non-graduating players (ringers) are simply used and thrown away, although an additional few go on to Canadian football or European basketball.
Students bring Antitrust Lawsuit against NCAA
The case, Alston v. NCAA, begins on September 4, and is presided over by the Honorable Claudia Wilken, Oakland Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612.
College sports are BIG BUSINESS. No surprise here. But just like slaves and prisoners, the workers/employees/players are not compensated. To me, this is, along with the brain-injuring contact sports, abuse of children. It is also a microcosm of the current workplace. Parents and students have a chance to change the college players situation with respect to rights and compensation.
What you can do
Sheila Dingus suggests writing letters to the judge, schools, sponsors, etc telling them you don’t approve of amateurism. It might be impactful if Judge Wilken was to receive 100’s or 1,000’s of letters from fans supporting the athletes and asking that the $$ they spend on college sports be shared with them.
Nothing changes if we do nothing. End amateurism in sports.
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