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The Shame of College Sports, by Taylor Branch


I saw the author of this article (from Oct 2011 issue of The Atlantic) interviewed tonight on the news and thought people might find the article interesting.  Branch, a civil rights historian, is getting into the debate about whether college athletes should be paid.  What's interesting is how strongly worded his argument is.  Here's the prime example:

The NCAA makes money, and enables universities and corporations to make money, from the unpaid labor of young athletes. 

Slavery analogies should be used carefully. College athletes are not slaves. Yet to survey the scene—corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as “student-athletes” deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution—is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation. Perhaps a more apt metaphor is colonialism: college sports, as overseen by the NCAA, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with hoary sentiments about caring for the well-being of the colonized. But it is, nonetheless, unjust. The NCAA, in its zealous defense of bogus principles, sometimes destroys the dreams of innocent young athletes.

Anyways, hope you enjoy.

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