By Comrade Read
As college sports fans gear up for the culmination of the annual march madness NCAA division 1 men’s basketball tournament, this year to be decided at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, we offer two articles by Dave Zirin on the hyper-exploitation of top flight college athletes. The article paints the NCAA as a good ol’ boys network with corporate sponsorship, making millions, if not billions, off the labor of student athletes.
Last week, Kevin Ware of the Louisville Cardinals, suffered one the most horrific injuries I’ve ever seen on a basketball court. It was so shocking that CBS executives ordered the network to stop replaying the footage as Kevin received emergency care. How much will Mr. Ware receive for this game where he fractured his tibia in half to the point it was left dangling off the end of his knee? Nothing, not one penny, unless you’re like the good ol’ boys who feel that the scholarship he receives is “enough”. With no income and very little time to find a part time job, these unpaid student workers often resort to taking money and benefits from boosters and fans of the school they play for.
Click this link for more context on the injury of Kevin Ware.
Terelle Pryor, formerly of Ohio State, now a quarterback for the Oakland Raiders – exchanged some sports equipment and jerseys, his own property unless you ask the NCAA, for some tatoo work. And because this happened while he was still working for Ohio State, he was kicked off the team and forced to give up his scholarship. For Terelle, who was planning on entering the NFL draft, this wasn’t overly devastating, but for the Ohio State football team he left behind, they were forced to deal with NCAA sanctions which put them out of contention for a national championship for a specified length of time.
That is the nature of the cartel formerly known as the NCAA. It is high time for these student workers/athletes to have an organization that represents their interest as students who work and generate profits for their University and this cartel (NCAA). Just like Graduate School Assistants (GSA) in the University of California recently organized under the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), student athletes need to unionize in order to demand proper compensation and benefits for their labor. Until this a reality, its safe to say the plantation will definitely be returning to Atlanta this weekend and every sports weekend of major NCAA sports. Tune in, and check out the link to the article below for more context on this “wicked” (Desmond Howard quote) and hyper-exploitative system.