Is the NCAA a Cartel?


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The problem is that Division 1 football and basketball players are not being fairly compensated for their services. For this example I will use a Thesis written by Tyler Jacob Andrews titled, Fair Play: An Ethical Evaluation of the NCAA’s Treatment of Student Athletes. Some of the topics that are discussed are the comparison of the NCAA and a Cartel, the problem of academic and financial exploitation, and the antitrust violations and conference realignment. This is my society perspective.

The current thinking is that athletes are fairly compensated. Athletes are required to put in approximately 50-60 hours in-season and -15-25 hours out of season; this is a year round time commitment with only a few weeks off in the entire year. In return for their services these athletes receive grant-in-aid (scholarship) for tuition, room, board, and books.

One point that is made in Andrews’s thesis is that these groups (members of the NCAA) go above and beyond standardizing the rules of the came and collude with one another to maximize profits. An example of this is conferences working together to maximize television profits. Another point that is made is that the compensation for the athletes has remained the same while profits have drastically increased. For reasons of academic and financial exploitation Andrews states that athletes have a lesser graduation rate than regular students and that they are pressured to take less demanding majors resulting in a lesser value of their degree.

These ideas contribute to my topic in that they further back the idea that athletes are being poorly compensated. It helps show that the practices used by these organizations are similar to a cartel, which could be considered unethical. This source also helps back that the compensation that is received should be lesser in value because the athletes are pressured to taking less straining majors that lessen the value of their degree.

This information comes from a thesis statement written by Tyler Jacob Andrews. Many of the statements are supported by facts. Andrews does show bias taking the side that athletes are being poorly compensated. There is a plethora of sources used in this thesis with over 300 total sources

Source – Andrews, Tyler J. Fair Play: An Ethical Evaluation of the NCAA’s Treatment of Student Athletes. Thesis. University of North Florida, 2013. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

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