2010-12-25

NCAA: Bad for Future Business Leaders

This past week, a couple Ohio State University [American] football players have been suspended for half of next year's season and have been made to pay thousands of dollars for selling things like [parts of] their uniforms, their championship rings, and other awards and sports paraphernalia. News outlets reporting this story have frequently made reference to a similar incident a couple years ago, when Reggie Bush voluntarily forfeited his Heisman Trophy (though he was under pressure to do so at risk of it being forcibly revoked) for receiving gifts from other people while playing football for the University of Southern California.
In no other sports league are rules as draconian as in the NCAA. Conferences like the SEC already make billions of dollars every season, so a couple thousand is peanuts for them. So why are all these rules in place? "Amateurism."
These college players are enormously popular and are almost all going to school on scholarships. That said, if they are injured, the scholarships are often revoked; as they spend almost all of their time practicing or playing football, if they are injured, it's a long way towards graduation, and a decent job may not even be on the horizon. These players are doing what they can to build up some money in their bank account while they can. Really, they should own the uniforms and awards, and first sale will mean that the NCAA has no authority over what happens to these things once they are in players' hands.
These players are rightfully trying to make a business out of their playing. Yet, the NCAA isn't letting them (on the grounds of a ridiculously weak excuse). That's right: the NCAA is anti-business. (Either that, or the NCAA takes the meaning of a monopoly to a ridiculous extreme, not even letting their own players even slightly compete with their gravy train.)

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