The NCAA's Exploitation of Student-Athletes

Sports Law Blog, 2016

2 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2016

Date Written: March 17, 2016


For decades, the NCAA has trumpeted "amateurism" and "student-athletes." But what if this is all a façade? What if these are empty phrases the NCAA hides behind in its embrace of commercialism on the backs of athletes?

These are the questions at the heart of Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss’s gripping book Indentured. The authors rip the lid off the NCAA’s celebrated morals, weaving a complex — and sad — story of student exploitation, extravagant riches, and blatant hypocrisy.

This short review highlights (1) the commercialism of NCAA football and men’s basketball, (2) students' physical and financial suffering, and (3) a 400-page rulebook selectively wielded by the NCAA to punish the most minor transgressions while ignoring some of the most major lapses.

Keywords: NCAA, amateurism, student-athlete

JEL Classification: D40, D42, J42, K21, L12, L40, L41, L44, L82, L83, O34

Suggested Citation

Carrier, Michael A., The NCAA's Exploitation of Student-Athletes (March 17, 2016). Sports Law Blog, 2016. Available at SSRN:

Michael A. Carrier (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

217 North Fifth Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6380 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

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