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March $ Madness, 2013: The Exploitation of the Black Athlete

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When presenting this argument about the exploitation of African American basketball players in class, the question is asked "but isn't the players getting scholarships?"


In recent empirical research the National College Players Association (NCPA) in their study titled "The $6 Billion Heist: Robbing College Athletes Under the Guise of Amateurism" they note the following:


The study also revealed that the average FBS "full" athletic scholarship falls short of the full cost of attending each school by an average of $3,285 during 2011-12 school year, and leaves the vast majority of full scholarship players living below the federal poverty line.


Several years ago author Michael Lewis (The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game) in a New York Times Op-Ed entitled "Serfs of the Turf" successfully argued that the amateurism label peddled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of intercollegiate sports, best trick play is in fact peddling amateurism with the message that college sports has nothing to do with making money.


To add insult to injury, the majority of these African American student-athletes don't graduate. 


Furthermore, unlike regular students who invest in their education and look for a payoff after college, these student athletes don't get a return on their investment (e.g., mostly the time spent practicing, weight lifting, playing games -- that nowadays amounts to 5 years spent on campus).


When presenting this argument in class, the question is always asked "but don't they make it to the league and make big bucks?"

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Sociologist interested in Social Stratification (race, class & gender issues)
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