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Reblogged:NCAA: From Near-Slavery to Quasi-Fascism

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the NCAA is considering the "radical" idea of permitting colleges to pay actual money to the grown men and women who play spectator sports under their brands.

Do note that the term radical is not my sarcastic description, but the newspaper's, and is used unironically in its headline.

Here's what they're calling "radical":
The proposed changes would create a new top tier, or subdivision, for the richest programs. Those schools would be required to set aside at least $30,000 per year for at least half of their eligible athletes in an educational trust fund designed to serve as a launching pad fund. The subdivision would also require schools to work together to make their own rules for things like scholarship limits, recruiting windows and transfer requirements.
This neither challenges the altruistic premise that amateurism is morally superior to professionalism in athletics, nor grants professionalism a (long-overdue) moral sanction: It's just a new flavor of hypocrisy.

And it is a sad joke compared to what athletes of similar ages abroad and in other sports are making.

I argued years ago that football of the American gridiron variety should adopt the more capitalist (and thus more truly American) multi-tiered league systems of association football (aka soccer) already found in Europe:
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An expectant mother roots for Ajax FC, renowned for its youth development program. (Image via Pixabay.)
The good news is that we are now speaking openly of compensating college-aged athletes. The bad is that we continue doing so on the unimaginative premise that they must play for college teams. Fortunately, we have the [counterexample] of European soccer abroad ... to help people see that there are far better ways -- morally and practically -- to foster young athletes...
Interestingly, the article discusses several compensation-centered legal actions pending against the NCAA, including a unionization attempt by a baseball team.

While that is occurring within America's hyperregulated and litigious legal environment, and unions are hardly friendly to capitalism, I would bet that has a higher chance of freeing college athletes to turn pro (even if accidentally) than the NCAA's "radical" proposal to continue not really paying college(-aged) athletes.

-- CAV

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