College And Athletes
Sports have always been one of American’s favorite pastimes. Americans love the thrill of hard competition. College athletics has always been at the heart of this. It has always been something more pure than professional athletics. In recent years college athletics has changed for the worse. Players have drifted away from what it used to mean to play college sports. They have fallen into illegal activities and have left fans disappointed. One of the reasons for tthis change is the lack of funds for the players. There are many benefits to paying college athletes. In many cases, scholarship athletes are treated differently than academic scholarship recipients. There are unnecessary National Collegiate Athletic Association rules that restrict and even punish scholarship athletes. Embarrassed when one of its nonsensical rules was challenged in court by sophomore running back Darnell Autry of Northwestern, the sorry-you-can’t-do-that specialist on Overland Park, Kansas rounded up enough members of their Administrative Review Panel ((ARP) to over turn the original ruling and grant a waiver to Autry that allows him to accept a bit part in a feature film called The Eighteenth Angel (McCallum, 1996). It is not right that a football player, who lloves drama, is not allowed to perform with his class and be treated the same way. The rest of Autry’s class was to get paid for their performance but because of this he was originally not even permitted to perform with them. He was eventually allowed to perform but was not paid for his performance that every other student in the class was to be compensated for. Something needs to change in the rulebooks regarding the absurd rules. The Autry case was not the first case that protested a useless rule in the N.C.A.A. rules and procedures. And remember that the troublesome bylaw that almost tripped up Autry is still on the books, undoubtedly to be changed again (McCallum, 1996). SSome of the rules are old fashioned and useless in today’s society. Darnell Autry is in a drama class and the N.C.A.A. is hurting his education by limiting his experience in that class. The N.C.A.A. should not have jurisdiction over a players earnings outside his sports participation. The rules need to be looked at and changed. Even if each and every one of its ruler-to-the-wrist statutes was written for a sound reason, the collective impact is that the N.C.A.A.’s treatment oof the student-athlete has become capricious, unnecessarily punitive and hopelessly out-of-date (McCallum, 1996). One of the biggest complaints lately from college basketball fans is that to many athletes are leaving college early to enter the draft. Now some athletes are going straight from high school to the NBA and skipping college altogether. A record number of athletes who are still eligible to play college ball have entered next month’s National Basketball Association draft, and have plans for two new professional leagues for teen-agers threaten to diminish the talent pool for college teams (Blum, 1996). This upsets fans because they don’t get to see the best players. The nations top high-school player, Kobe Bryant, was one of three seniors this year to declare themselves eligible for the draft (Blum, 1996). Fans will follow a team through bad years and good years but if a team has a good year many of its players consider leaving college for the big money in the National Basketball Association. Fans like to get to know a team and support it but become frustrated because of players leaving. Officials of big-time basketball programs are taking a new look at their sport-arguably the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s mmost popular and lucrative-which is beset by worries that it can no longer hang on to or perhaps even attract the game’s biggest stars (Blum, 1996). The biggest reason for ball players to skip out on college and to enter into the draft is because of the big money. Many players come from poor families and bad run down neighborhoods. They want an education but they do not want to miss out on a chance to make money. They also do not have enough money to pay for things that scholarships will not pay for. They should get paid a limited amount to help them live and enjoy college. That way players can get an education and then, if they choose, enter the draft after graduation. The lack of money for the players will many times entice them to fall into illegal activities. One of the illegal activities they might fall into is gambling. Boston College has announced a range of punishments for 21 students who allegedly placed or handled illegal bets on sporting events (Haworth, 1997). In November the college removed two players from its football team and suspended 11 others from the team-about 14 percent of the roster-after aan investigation by the college and the local District Attorney’s office showed that the players had bet on college and professional sporting events (Haworth, 1997). Some of the athletes that were caught gambling were even betting against there own team. This shows the desperation these players feel if they are betting against their own team. Another illegal activity that athletes fall into is accepting gifts from sporting agents. This can have a huge effect on the team and on the player’s future. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has demanded that the university of Connecticut return $90,000 that it received after its men’s basketball team reached the semifinals of the 1996 championship tournament (Naughton, 1997). Two of the team’s players had accepted gifts from a sporting agent and were therefore ineligible to compete, according to the N.C.A.A. (Naughton, 1997). The agent doesn’t care if the athlete gets caught. If he gets caught, the athlete is no longer eligible to play in college so his only option is to play professional sports. This works out nicely for the agent since he can not be paid if the player is in college. This is why the agent will give athletes gifts. Marcus Camby,
whose dealings with sports agents led to that penalty, said he would make a donation to the university in the same amount (Naughton, 1996). Mr. Camby now plays for the Toronto Raptors ...
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