August 1, 2003

NCAA hypocracy?

POST #    266

in today's new york times ("all the news that might be true"), jeremy bloom had an op-ed piece about the ncaa and their policies towards student-athletes. some of you may or may not recall how jeremy bloom was on the olympic ski team and is one of the best mogul skiers in the world. he is also a football player at the university of colorado.

he discusses how the ncaa prohibits student-athletes from having jobs and how unfair that rule is because of the money that the ncaa makes from tv rights fees. while i agree that the ncaa rule is unfair, there are reasons that it is in place. it's to ensure that there is no abuse of the system with athletes getting "special treatment" from universities or boosters (this is especially the case in football and basketball). i also agree that the ncaa rules need changing in regards to jeremy bloom's case.

in his piece, he mentions how athletes are essentially paid less than minimum wage if their tuition were to count as salaries. i'm going to have to call "bullshit" on that one. minimum wage in colorado (like most of the country) is $5.15 an hour. one semester of the most expensive major at u of c at boulder is $2,382 for a state resident and $10,816 a semester for out of state students. assuming, you take at least two semesters of classes, that's $4,764 or $21,632 a year. ncaa rules only allow 20 hours of practice a week for 132 days a year. after some calculations, one finds that he is "paid" $12.63/hour or $57.36/hour, which is clearly more than minimum wage. i'm sure all athletes put in more work than just what is allowed by the ncaa, but they also get more than what a typical student gets with their tuition, like free sneakers, uniforms, clothes, not to mention training table for football players.

all things considered, i think that jeremy makes some good points, and it is hard for athletes to be at school and make no money, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that they aren't getting anything out of it. the universities and the ncaa make out like bandits, the student-athletes get a free ride, and sometimes a chance to make a career out of sports.

Posted by tien mao in Sports at 2:17 PM



Wow. Did tien just offer social commmentary *and* make a serious argument? Has to be a first for this blog.

Gotta to say, I find it more interesting than reprinting Doonesbury.

Posted by: JK at August 2, 2003 11:42 PM

yeah, i guess i did, huh? i'm not sure if it makes any sense though. it did in my head when i was writing it. and i'm all crammed with math gmat stuff, so english is an afterthought.

Posted by: tien at August 3, 2003 1:18 AM

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