The Continued Exploitation of the College Athlete: Confessions of a Former College Athlete Turned Law Professor
64 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2016 Last revised: 26 May 2017
Date Written: March 30, 2016
College football and men’s college basketball generate billions of dollars each year, yet the NCAA and athletic conferences prohibit college athletes from earning compensation above the scholarships they currently receive, many of which are inadequate anyhow. Antitrust law provides a legal mechanism that should recognize such a prohibition both violates our free market economy and also subjugates college athletes to the role of exploited providers of services without proper compensation. College athletes should be able to earn money based on playing sports for their colleges and universities, as well as for licensing the rights to their names, images and likenesses through endorsements.
This article provides a unique perspective on why college athletes should be allowed to earn compensation above their scholarship limit, both in the form of compensation for playing on a college team and also compensation from endorsements. The perspective is unique because I played college football at Rice as a scholarship athlete, and I also practiced law for nearly a decade and now teach as a law professor. In addition, this article includes excerpts from an audio-recorded interview I conducted with Jay Bilas, former Duke University standout basketball player, former Duke assistant coach, lawyer, and ESPN analyst.
Keywords: college athletics, NCAA, antitrust, compensating college athletes, amateurism, sports law, sports economics, free market
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