Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Literature Review #3: The Cartel

The Cartel, written by Taylor Branch, focuses on a three-point reform agenda for the NCAA to follow in order to clean up its image and public perception.

1) Transparency- Alumni, principle stakeholders and fans must be ensured that entire, verifiable and forthright records for athletic proceeds and obligations are accessible for viewing. The stakeholders would cover the school's athletic department, students both on and off its athletic squads, representatives of the school’s bureaucratic leadership and its faculty.

2) Balance- Stakeholders should be obliged to exercise conjunctive responsibility for the distinct spheres of both sports and academics. For instance, they should be allowed to address in particular any discrepancy allowed for athletic recruits in University admissions. More generally speaking, they could allot a percentage of sports broadcasting and advertising receipts to the common academic financial plan. Stakeholders could also fix the class calendar to help seasonal demands on athletes and take steps towards encouraging interaction in campus life between the regular students and collegiate athletes, too.

3) Equity- Colleges and universities must respect the fundamental rights of every student, whether or not that respective student is deemed an athlete at the school or not. On the other hand, no freedom should be cut down because of an athletic position at the University. To meet empirical needs and desires, all students should be qualified to lookout for just reimbursement in full or part-time jobs, work-study programs, and all other authorized ventures whether affiliated or not with their respective University.

Reserach Blog #8: My Case

     As I have been saying, the NCAA breeds a culture of corruption. Regardless of their level of corruption, the media-propagandized facade that capitalism spawns include corporate institutions that are too big to fail and too profitable to police. This theory extends to the American sports world too, especially the NCAA.
     Jason Whitlock, a reporter for The Kansas City Star, chronicled the NCAA's modern system of control and hypocritical rules that exist merely to financially "exploit" football and basketball players. The organization has survived past its usefulness. There are no moral principles in hell. Non-believers do not cohere to the "rules". Not even the six and seven figure beneficiaries have confidence in the NCAA's model. The culture of corruption nurtured by the NCAA produces a breeding ground for those who have an "in" with the correct people in the industry. An example of this is through ticket brokers, such as the infamous Pump brothers, who use their connections with college coaches to lock up large amounts of Final Four tickets and sell them at colossal profits. For decades, the NCAA has been infamous in providing head and assistant coaches with tickets to prime-time events such as the Elite Eight and Final Four. It's never been a secret that coaches sell these tickets to brokers for a profit, but the NCAA sweeps this under the rug.
     The NCAA is smart, though. To facilitate perception that the collegiate brand is against this fraud, the NCAA collaborated with a ticket broker that instantly purchases the tickets back from coaches at face value. Whitlock proposed that if the NCAA was invested in halting fraud amongst its coaches and the like, it would treat them the same way it treats the media. Media members aren't promised tickets to these events and are required to show up with government issued IDs and sport credentials that signify it is actually them and not a phony.
     Whitlock states, "Corruption is the NCAA's life partner. Passing itself off as an institution promoting the ideas and values of "amateur athletics" is a fraud so bold and laughable that it borders on criminal."
     This is just an example of how the NCAA breeds corruption through and through. The unfair ticket scheme is only one aspect of how the NCAA operates under fraudulence covertly, while attempting to cover its tracks with a move seen as "just" by the public.

Research Blog #7: Frame & Project

The most important and recurring term in regard to the topic at hand is corruptness. The NCAA is heralded for its famous corrupt nature. From paying student-athletes, to point shaving by players (and sometimes even coaches), to unethically profiting from student-athletes, these are just some of the aspects that create a "corrupt" nature that haunts the National Collegiate Athletic Association and casts a dark cloud over it. My paper will look to focus on this area of corruption and uncover how the NCAA grows as a brand and stays clean, while scandals that involve players, schools and boosters also directly involve the NCAA.

Research Blog #6: Visual

This is a great visual that represents how the NCAA views its coveted "student-athletes" that in turn make the NCAA millions upon millions of dollars in revenue. Corruption within the NCAA is running rampant, from those running the NCAA itself to higher University officials (coaches, staff, school presidents, vice presidents, recruiters, boosters, etc.) The picture above hits home when thinking about the disadvantage that Division 1 student-athletes face in today's day and age when going up against the "big, bad NCAA".

Research Blog #5: Bibliographies

6) Working Bibliographies:
1. Lodge, Alexander. "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad NCAA?...The Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA Decision's Impact on the NCAA's Amateurism Model." Journal of Corporation Law 41.3 (2016): 775-93. Business Source Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
2. Milford, Mike. "Kenneth Burke's Punitive Priests and the Redeeming Prophets: The NCAA, the College Sports Media, and the University of Miami Scandal." Communication Studies66.1 (2014): 45-62. Scopus. Web.
3. Harris, Jill S. "The Demand for Student-Athlete Labor and the Supply of Violations in the NCAA." Marquette Sports Law Review 26.2 (2016): 411-432.
4. Branch, Taylor. "The Shame of College Sports." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
5. Solman, Paul. "Is the NCAA failing Its College Athletes?" PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
6. Johnson, StudentNation Greg. "The NCAA Makes Billions and Student Athletes Get None of It." The Nation. N.p., 29 June 2015. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Literature Review #2: The NCAA, the College Sports Media, and the University of Miami Scandal

Pictured above is Nevin Shapiro (right) and Miami football player Kellen Winslow, Jr. (left) 

     Mike Milford's article, "Kenneth Burke’s Punitive Priests and the Redeeming Prophets: The NCAA, the College Sports Media, and the University of Miami Scandal", focuses on an interesting theory regarding variables at play in the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal. Burke refers to the priests as the NCAA, or those who create an orientation around a scapegoat. The scapegoat in this instance happened to be Nevin Shapiro and the University of Miami for improperly handling the conduct of its boosters. But the other variable at play in Burke's opinion was the "prophets" who happened to be the sports media. The prophet's main goal here was to shift the attention away from the scapegoat and focus it back on the priests for the "unfair" creation of scapegoating a person or entity. Milford's article delves into the dynamic the priests and prophets created with regard to the Nevin Shapiro scandal and provides an interesting counter-argument against the notion that the scandal solely lied on the University of Miami and Shapiro, when in reality the NCAA was to blame.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Literature Review #1: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad NCAA?

     This article focus on the lawsuit brought against the NCAA by Ed O'Bannon and 19 other student-athletes about the likenesses used in video games and live television broadcasts. Their argument revolved around the fact that the NCAA profited millions and millions of dollars off of using their likenesses, facial features, skin complexity and many other things in licensed video games. These games, such as the "NCAA Football" and "NCAA March Madness" series, saw large revenue streams from this tactic, while the players saw none of the profit in return due to the fact they could not make money while being a student-athlete. Under NCAA non-profit rules, the purpose was to "maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body and, by so doing, retaining] a clear line of demarcation between intercollegiate athletics and professional sports” (Lodge 777). The immense popularity of these video games among America's youth generation (also adolescents and sometimes even adults), gave O'Bannon and the other 19 student-athletes who brought the case to light an extremely valid argument to receiving monetary benefits.
       However, in O'Bannon v. NCAA, the NCAA's "amateurism" argument was its strongest defense. This claim counteracted O'Bannon's challenge of anti-competition by providing that the challenge held a "procompetitive purpose". Lodge wrote, "The most significant endorsement of the NCAA’s amateurism argument—giving it some serious teeth—is the Supreme Court’s decision in NCAA v. Board o f Regents, stating: “It is reasonable to assume that most of the regulatory controls of the NCAA are justifiable means of fostering competition .. . and therefore procompetitive because they enhance public interest in intercollegiate athletics” (Lodge 788).
     The court's final rulings in the O'Bannon v. NCAA trial were in favor of O'Bannon and dealt a blow to the NCAA's amateurism defense-- or did it? In his recommendation, Lodge wrote a very insightful piece by stating, "Although some commentators on the topic are planning the funeral for the NCAA’s definition of amateurism and predicting the “crushing” effect on the NCAA itself, the O ’Bannon decisions offer some support to the NCAA’s desire to protect the commercial exploitation of college athletes through its amateurism model. The O ’Bannon appeallate decision, while highlighting the NCAA’s lack of adherence to its own definition of amateurism historically, refused to cross the line of allowing even minimal payments to student-athletes.143 The most important point to glean from the O ’Bannon decisions as a whole is the decisions only limits the NCAA’s commercial restrictions on players’ NIL compensation up to the full cost of attendance while giving appropriate deference to the Supreme Court’s reasoning that amateurism remains a justifiable procompetitive means" (Lodge 791, 792). All in all, the court's ruling is NOT endorsing the payment of college players, but rather prevents NCAA regulations that limit player compensation in violation of antitrust laws.