Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Commentary on Pay for Play in College Athletics

In today's Boulder Daily Camera I have a commentary on "pay for play" in college athletics.  Despite being a member of the faculty -- who are supposed to be against such things -- I am in favor of giving student athletes a chance to capitalize on their untapped economic potential.  My piece draws on the faculties own experience in this regard to suggest a way forward for college athletics.

Here is an excerpt:
When Bob Williams, VP of communications for the NCAA, was recent asked by ESPN if college athletes should receive a cut in the sales of jerseys bearing their name he responded, "I think you have to remember whose jersey it really is. The school name, the colors, that`s really the school`s and the institution`s property. It`s hard to say that the student-athlete 'owns` that jersey or it`s his jersey. But that intellectual property is owned by the institution." This is exactly the sort of convoluted argument that led faculty to demand a share in the profits that resulted from their unique contributions to a university. We could test Williams` hypothesis by putting on sale at the Auburn University bookstore jerseys with the name "Bob Williams" on the back and see how sales compare to those with "Cam Newton" on the back.
Have a read and let me know what you think! 


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