Research Proposal – Gaining student-athletes basic rights


The problem that I am looking at is how certain student-athletes in mainly power house programs in division 1 football and basketball are being poorly compensated for their contribution to the schools revenue stream for that particular sport. Basically certain schools are bringing in millions of dollars in profit that is tied directly to one sport and the student-athletes (workers) that are playing this sport. I feel these athletes should have basic rights such as worker compensation for injuries and possibly a salary beyond tuition, room and board.

The NCAA in the past and today has used two terms that have prevented the athletes from further compensation. These terms are student-athlete and amateurism. The NCAA created the term student-athlete in the 1950’s. This stated that an athlete is a student first and an athlete second, and has allowed the NCAA to prevail in many court cases bought against them by injured athletes looking for compensation who were hurt while playing their sport. The NCAA also refers to these athletes as amateurs which do not allow them to use their name to profit in anyway, whether it is through their sport or any other use of their name, during their time as a student-athlete.

On Wednesday March 26, 2014 the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the university and can unionize. This ruling was brought to the National Labor Relations Board by Kain Colter, NAPA, United Steel workers union, and other former Northwestern football players. Backing the ruling regional director Peter Sung Ohr stated “the players’ time commitment to their sport and the fact that their scholarships were tied directly to their performance on the field as reasons for granting them union rights.” This ruling was big for this case because it is the first time that a powerful organization has stepped up and said that these athletes should be considered workers rather than amateurs.

I am arguing against the statements made by the NCAA that these are student-athletes who are amateurs in their sport and should not receive compensation beyond tuition room and board. The Northwestern case will be helpful in proving against this. I think my argument is strong considering there is a court ruling on the matter. The NCAA has used the terms mentioned above to gain an economic advantage using low cost labor, and holds its position to protect the possibility of athletes being fairly compensated. Looking at the origins of the NCAA it was created to protect the athlete, but after realizing the potential profits the NCAA has shifted to protecting its own interests.

Attached below is the court ruling

Court Ruling NW


One thought on “Research Proposal – Gaining student-athletes basic rights

  1. Ok, so this is the NCAA as a source. I am unsure if we are counting it as society (it is a non-profit) or business (given they way they run).

    Did I tell you something specific?

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