The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body that oversees intercollegiate athletics, has created such a large number of complicated rules that even schools with some of the top lawyers in the nation cannot understand all of them completely. Until you have read and studied the very thick book of rules that the NCAA has established, then don’t be so quick to judge administrators, student-athletes, athletic department tutors and coaches. Yes, things like plagiarism, falsifying records, violent behavior, and etc. are violations of any institution’s policies without the NCAA telling them that they are. However, the NCAA has instituted many rules that need to be eliminated.
The NCAA will not allow players to speak to agents about their potential futures in playing professional sports. Now, please explain to me what’s the harm in allowing a student-athlete to speak to an agent about a future in playing professional sports? Is the NCAA really concerned about the futures of student-athletes? No! We allow all other students to have lawyers and agents while they are attending college. Why is it that the NCAA has decided to not give student-athletes equal treatment? It’s all about keeping student-athletes in the colleges and universities they attend to keep making those institutions more money. That’s why! By virtue of being a student-athlete, it’s conspicuous that he or she would love to have an opportunity to participate in sports on a professional level. Why would the NCAA try to hinder student-athletes from best positioning themselves for futures in professional athletic competition? By forbidding them from speaking to agents, they prevent student-athletes from engaging in strategic and effective planning about their future. This is unfair and exploitative.
If young student-athletes want to enter into professional sports immediately after graduating high school, they should be able to do this in every sport. We should not force them to have to attend college for any period of time before they are able to participate in sports on a professional level. For student-athletes who are not well-suited for college, we are using college as a punishment for them. College should be for those students who have genuine interests and needs for it. It should not be forced on any person wishing to participate in professional athletics. I understand that there are some good reasons for having students to attend college before they participate in professional athletics, but, again, college should not be forced on anyone.
What’s economically best for many student-athletes coming out of high school is to be able to make money immediately. If colleges would give student-athletes stipends, then they would be able to take care of their immediate economic needs and the economic needs of their families. Many Black male student-athletes come from such poor economic backgrounds that they need to make money immediately. Their families struggle with just surviving. While they and their families are struggling to survive, you have people with such elitist views that think it’s so wrong to give student-athletes stipends in exchange for their participation in college athletics and all that comes with their participation in college athletics.
In short, the NCAA needs to reduce all burdensome rules that prevent student-athletes from giving themselves the best possible future. I really encourage legal challenges to many of the NCAA’s rules to take place. We have to become increasingly concerned about how the NCAA exploits student-athletes. It is possible for us to make significant efforts to dramatically reduce the exploitation of student-athletes by using the legal system as a vehicle to accomplish this.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison