2. My Research Topic is...
The conversation revolving paying collegiate athletes has been a long one, and one that does not
seem to be any closer to being resolved. The NCAA is the governing body of all collegiate
athletics and have many rules regarding amateurism and compensation, which can impact the
eligibility of some athletes if they break these rules. While the NCAA is making millions of dollars
off the athletes’ production through endorsements, TV deals, and advertisements, the athletes
receive none of this money despite their health, future careers, and opportunities of a lifetime on
the line. I will be investigating several cases of athlete ineligibility due to this, and hope to learn
what the opposite viewpoint is and the reasoning behind it.
● The Intercollegiate Athletic Association began as a supervisory board created by over 60
university presidents in 1906 to oversee player safety, before changing its name to NCAA.
● The NCAA passed a “Sanity Code” that allowed colleges and universities to provide
scholarships to athletes covering tuition, fees, and a living stipend in the early 1950’s.
● Since the 1970’s, when Title IX was passed, the NCAA has grown to include over 1,300
colleges and universities, as well as over 400,000 student-athletes.
● As of the 2017 fiscal year, the NCAA reported $1.1 BILLION in revenue, with slightly more
than $560 million going to Division I schools.
4. Groups Involved
● National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA)
○ Stands to lose/make millions of dollars off athletes
○ Stand to lose/make profit off of their name, athletic achievements, etc.
● TV networks, corporations, other financial investors
○ Major advertisements and publicity, consumers gained/lost
5. Questions I Have
● How does the NCAA define “amateurism”?
● Can rule changes regarding drafts be changed to promote extended time in college?
● Why are the NCAA rules regarding amateurism so strict while also being fluid?
● If athletes are paid, would all student-athletes be paid the same, or would they be paid
based on sport, conference, ranking, etc.?
6. Alternate Views
In an article written by Dennis Johnson and John Acquaviva for The Sports Journal, Acquaviva
argues five points, the three main ones being: education is money, problems with payment, and
universities offering more than an education. “Education is money” regards the fact that student-
athletes are students first, and the institution provides scholarships that can cost tens or
hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Problems with payment” addresses who should get paid,
which sports get more or less, and what happens to smaller schools who can’t afford to pay
players. “Universities offering more than an education” states that a college environment
provides athletes with free media exposure, multimillion dollar facilities, and free gear that would
normally cost hundreds of dollars.
“Amateurism.” NCAA.org - The Official Site of the NCAA, 5 Apr. 2018, www.ncaa.org/student-
Axson, Scooby. “NCAA Reports Record Revenue in 2017.” SI.com, 7 Mar. 2018,
Johnson, Dennis A., and John Acquaviva. “Point/Counterpoint: Paying College Athletes.” The
Sport Journal, 31 Jan. 2015, thesportjournal.org/article/pointcounterpoint-paying-college-
Littlefield, Bill. “Pay For Play: How To End The Exploitation Of College Athletes Once And For
All.” WBUR, WBUR, 24 Oct. 2017, www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2017/10/24/ncaa-amateurism-