Internationalization in College Sports: Issues in Recruiting, Amateurism, and Scope

32 Pages Posted: 17 May 2012

See all articles by Maureen A. Weston

Maureen A. Weston

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law

Date Written: 2006


This article examines the impact of international student-athletes ("ISAs") participating in intercollegiate athletics in the United States. Particularly in certain collegiate sports, the predominance, and frankly, the competitive success of ISAs-both men and women-is gaining the attention, and, in some cases, the concern, of college coaches, players, parents of junior players, member institutions, fans, and commentators. A primary concern is whether many of the ISAs, coming from varied education and athletic programs, are properly evaluated in meeting the academic and amateur eligibility standards set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Many ISAs are also on athletic scholarships, and, as a practical matter, the competitive playing and education opportunities at the collegiate level for local and domestic players, e.g., children of taxpayers, are commensurately diminished. Should this trend be construed as an outsourcing of college athletics, or, as an opportunity to enhance the collegiate athletic experience by embracing international talent? While a focus on international students may be perceived, or misconceived, as politically insensitive or even xenophobic, the realities are undisputed - U.S. colleges are recruiting worldwide, and ISAs have been a major factor on several collegiate championship teams and account for some of the best performers in college sports. The American public has learned to accept the globalization of business through technological advances, so is it time to accept the international face of American college sports? In short, what are the benefits and costs of ISA participation in U.S. collegiate sports?

Keywords: international student athletes, college, athletic programs, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Olympics, professional sports, recruitment, eligibility, amateurism

Suggested Citation

Weston, Maureen A, Internationalization in College Sports: Issues in Recruiting, Amateurism, and Scope (2006). Willamette Law Review, Vol. 42, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Maureen A Weston (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

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