Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S: "Schooled: The Price of College Sports"

What does it mean to be schooled? This should not be a rhetorical question. A few years ago I began thinking in earnest about the argument that college athletes should be paid, much the way Olympic athletes are able to earn money via endorsements. 

As a scholarship recipient in a competitive activity--speech and debate--and as a teacher, I've long been troubled by inequities in funding student activities. However, two sports--football and basketball--n Division I NCAA schools generate huge revenue for their schools, and it's at the expense of the athletes. 

The Atlantic Monthly addressed this indentured servitude of college athletes in 2011: "The Shame of College Sports." 

Since I subscribe to The Atlantic, I took my copy to school and began sharing the article with students and suggesting it as a research topic to the athletes in my classes. 

But until I watched "Schooled: The Price of College Sports" recently, I had no clue that many college athletes literally go hungry because of the NCAA's egregious policies. 

Here's the official trailer of the documentary: 

The day after I watched schooled, a student in my Communication 1101 class, which I teach in the Early College Program at Idaho State University, presented his argumentative speech arguing that college athletes be paid. He graciously allowed me to record his speech and post it to YouTube. One of the requirements of the speech is that students present a refutative argument and then respond to it with specific methods I teach in the class. There are eleven techniques students learn for answering a rebuttal. Here's Ryan's speech:

The NCAA has "schooled" the public--and for many years I was among those schooled--into thinking big-time college athletes can't put a price on their "free education." The NCAA has, and it's one in the billions of dollars. I

sn't it time Congress revoke the NCAA's nonprofit status? Isn't it time the NCAA start treating athletes like humans rather than commodities? Isn't it time to school the NCAA and teach that organization a much needed lesson? These should not be rhetorical questions. 


  1. I agree with you completely. It is time things changed and it will take people joining together to do it.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  2. I loved your take on college athletics. The NCAA is the last bastion of the feudal lord. They live in privilege on the labor of others. Not to mention the free farm team system this provides to their cronies in the NFL and NBA. Hope to read more. Good luck with the A-Z!

    1. The documentary actually uses the term "indentured servitude" to describe the NCAA's treatment of athletes. It reminded me of indentured servitude during colonial times. Of course, there are all kinds of racial undertones to the NCAAs operating model. Thanks for dropping by and for your comment.