Paying College Athletes: An Analysis of Proposed Reforms for the Collegiate Athletic Model
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On October 15, 2016, University of Wisconsin basketball star Nigel Hayes stood with a sign in view of ESPN’s College Gameday set that was on campus for the Badgers football team’s matchup against Ohio State (Curtis, 2016). Hayes’ sign read: “BROKE COLLEGE ATHLETE ANYTHING HELPS” and listed the username of a Venmo account. Hayes’ protest is an echo of the many public voices that have criticized the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in recent years over its treatment of college athletes. College sports are a billion-dollar business, and perhaps the athletes deserve a greater cut of the revenue generated from their activities. The NCAA and universities have resisted these challenges, concerned that the influence of commercialization in collegiate athletics would threaten the educational ideal. Given the unique context of Division I collegiate athletics, what reforms can be implemented to appropriately address the status and treatment of student-athletes giving due consideration to both market-oriented principles and educational standards? Drawing upon interviews with informed actors in the space of college sports (primarily athletes and administrators from Duke University), I argue for a scheme of reform for the collegiate athletic model that better attends to both the educational achievement of student-athletes and to their fair treatment in a market-oriented setting. The three-part recommendation would give student-athletes full control of their publicity rights, include student-athletes in a revenue-sharing scheme tied to the profitability of their individual programs, and amend professional league eligibility requirements.
DepartmentPublic Policy Studies
CitationBlutman, Alex (2017). Paying College Athletes: An Analysis of Proposed Reforms for the Collegiate Athletic Model. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13976.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers