What if I told you that the NCAA’s current athletic system resembles a plantation system? Slavery? That’s impossible right? Slavery is in our past, it can’t be taking place in a multi-billion dollar industry; that’s madness! Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but the parallels are shocking and downright disturbing. Even Cartman from South Park can see what’s going on:
As you can see in this clip, Cartman is making fun of the NCAA’s system. Unfortunately, we can’t laugh for too long because this is indeed a real issue. The NCAA is so corrupt; the proclaimed number one mission of the NCAA is to provide a proper education to all athletes that will prepare them for life beyond sports. Unfortunately, the real (and blatant) number one mission is to bring in as much revenue as possible.
Who will be the ones bringing in that revenue? The “student”-athletes that are exploited by the overseers of this disgusting plantation system. The ones who are pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into this “business” day in and day out, but don’t see a penny of the profit. Sounds a little bit like slavery…
If you go to the “about tab” on the NCAA website, you will find this comical statement:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a membership-driven organization dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of student-athletes and equipping them with the skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and throughout life.
There are two issues with this. First, the NCAA is calling it a “membership-driven” organization. Well, who are those members? It’s the athletes that are the “members” driving this behemoth of an organization, yet they are not properly compensated for. Also, it’s worth noting that they mention “success on the playing field” before “in the classroom,” and “throughout life” for that matter; both are more important than success in athletics for the majority.
Most college athletes just accept the system for what it is because they are too caught up in the demanding schedules and intense competition they face each day. For others, it is seen as the only way to play professionally; speaking up and creating attention may diminish their chances of fulfilling that dream. Keeping quite is the much easier thing to do.
For those few, proud athletes who do end up speaking out against the NCAA, it looks something like this:
This passionate Twitter rant came from the fingertips of Cardale Jones, former Ohio State quarterback who is gearing up for this year’s NFL draft. Yes Cardale, I agree. It’s bigger than these guys just wanting some extra cash to fatten up their wallets. It’s about doing the right thing and giving credit where credit is due.
Another college football player took to Twitter to express how he felt about the NCAA, but in a much more blunt fashion than Cardale Jones. Jalen Tabor, a current cornerback at the University of Florida, sent out this tweet shortly after the SEC released their annual revenue statistics:
The tweet was deleted hours after. He then followed it up with this “apology” tweet:
Did he willingly delete that tweet or did the institution make him? We can only speculate, but you have to think he really did mean it after all. Either way, Tabor is right. This is a modern form of slavery, but the NCAA holds too much power for these few individuals voices to matter.
The podcast below touches upon many issues within the system. Two athletes who have been through the system explain how they want to change it:
Now, take a look at this diagram located on the NCAA’s website:
I assume the NCAA put this on their website to enhance their organization’s image. To me, all this is doing is furthering the argument that the NCAA is exploiting these athletes. All the people surrounding the student-athletes are profiting greatly off of their abilities. The only way they are compensated for is an “education.” If anything, the people surrounding these athletes are misleading them rather than helping them. What a twisted system.
To shed light on this, I’ll leave you with a clip from John Oliver’s show. It’s such an easy topic to crack jokes about because it’s so unbelievable. The sad part is, as seen in this video, the plantation owners don’t seem ready to budge anytime soon.