1. Taylor Cordle
Reflection on the Article “A Rim-Rattling Ruling in College Sports; Athletes aren’t Blind to
Billions They Earn for the NCAA. Change is Coming…”
This Article was written by Michael Dobie. His biggest argument in the article is that college
sports bring in a lot of money for the NCAA and other conferences. The NCAA had $60,908,876
in net assets for the year ending Aug. 31, 2013, bringing its total net assets to $627,325,275. It
distributed nearly $504 million to Division I members and has a 14-year, $10 billion deal with
CBS and Turner Broadcasting for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.(Doyal, 2014) A
federal lawsuit claims the NCAA and its five biggest conferences rake in billions of dollars in
football and basketball while unlawfully capping player compensation at the value of a
scholarship. (Dobie, 2014) This lawsuit was filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Brian.
He argues that athletes should profit when something uses their likeness like in videogames.
In the Northwestern case, the NLRB said football players are recruited for their athletic
prowess, spend as much as 50-60 hours per week on football, and cannot be considered
“primarily students.” (Dobie, 2014) "Some people might also say, 'Why don't these athletes get
a job,' " Allen said. "Well, for those who don't know, playing a Division I sport is a full -time job.
2. All in a day's work we can have study hall, three classes, lift and practice. The time we get to
relax is usually spent doing homework or simply resting for the next day. ... Everybody is making
money in college athletics today except the ones who put their bodies, mind and life on the line
for the love of their school." (Doyal, 2014) I a full-time student only work 43 hours a week and
that is tough. I also get paid for it! I couldn’t imagine putting in that much hard labor and
getting only glory out of it. Not only does it take up all their time. They are also physically
exhausted by the time they get done with their practice, workout, or game.
I never saw myself as an employee of the University of Michigan when I played football
there," Manuel recently told The Courant. "All the things we do outside of sports for our
athletes who are students on our campus for 20 to 21 hours a day, I don't see them as
employees. So if that's what allows you to create a union, I don't see unionization as necessary.
If they are an employee, what does that mean financially? Would their scholarship be taxed?
Would their tutorial services, food costs, be taxed? I don't know all the details. I feel our
student-athletes do have a voice in our department with the advisory council and the way the
administration and I interact with them. If being a part of a union allows them to have a voice,
they already have a voice in a lot of things we do here." Like Manuel, Sack played football at a
big-time program. He was a linebacker on Notre Dame's 1966 national championship team, and
his education at South Bend sent him on a path into the academic world. He earned a master's
degree and a Ph.D. at Penn State, and has been at the University of New Haven as a professor
of management since 1991. (Doyal, 2014) This side of the argument states that eventhought
they are putting in all that time a scholarship really should be their payment. They are allowed
3. to get a good education for free, and that will help them get the payment they deserve in the
Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips says college athletes need more than just a voice
when it comes to issues that affect them. They need a vote. (The Day In Sports, 2014) Should
we let students vote? I’m pretty sure they would all vote yes! Who wouldn’t want to get paid
for putting in hard work? Though Phillips opposes unionization, he hopes the discussion leads
to changes that give athletes a greater say -- including a vote -- when it comes to their welfare,
their health and their safety. (The Day In Sports, 2014) I bet based on that first comment you
didn’t think that he was against unionizing student athletes. He has a good point though. What
happens when an athlete gets hurt at a game and has to go to the doctor? They are on their
own. If they are still on their parents insurance then they are covered, but some student
athletes are not.
Like an employee whose salary depends on job performance, renewal of an athlete's
scholarship can depend on his or her athletic performance. That started with an NCAA decision
in 1973 that a coach could withdraw a scholarship if a student athlete did not perform. This is
one reason Northwestern's scholarship athletes (not the walk-ons) could move toward
collective bargaining. (Atlantic Journal Constitution, 2014) This is true, but what about all the
other needs of students who live away from home? Not all students have the privilege of calling
home to their parents and having them send them money.
My opinion on the matter is that we should pay student athletes but there should be
regulations. Dobie said it best in his article. The NCAA could at least give some money to
4. athletes to cover other costs in college other than their school; such as food, clothes, and other
needs. Colleges could also sign saying no matter what happens they can still go to school here
for their scholarship, within reason. They should have their scholarship revoked if they are not
making the grades, get arrested, or other things along those lines, but should be able to keep
them if they get injured or what not.
5. Works Cited
1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 15, 2014 Sunday, SPORTS; Pg. 2C, 486 words,
for the AJC. Retrieved from LexisNexis.
2. THE DAY IN SPORTS;. (2014, May 14). Los Angelas Times, p. 7. Retrieved from
3. Dobie, M. (2014, March 30). A Rim-Rattling Ruling in College Sports; Athletes aren’t Blind to
Billions They Earn for the NCAA. Change is Coming…. Newsday, p. A36. Retrieved from
4. Doyal, P. (2014, June 1). PAYING ATHLETES: A MOVEMENT GROWS;. , pp. A1, E6-7.
Retrieved from LexisNexis.