Division I Athletics has seen a large growth in popularity and monetarily over the last decade and a half. This is because of the rise in talent that incoming collegiate athletes have.
Today’s athletes are some of the fastest, largest, and most talented players to ever play their respected sport and at one point or another, most of them attended a Division I college. This is because of new National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sport league rules, requiring an athlete to attend at least a year of college before becoming eligible for the draft, with the only exception being Major League Baseball (MLB).
Forcing high profile athletes to go at least one year of college before getting drafted into the NFL or NBA has caused controversy for the NCAA over the past decade. NCAA rules state that college athletes cannot make any money for their play, whether it is from the college itself, an agent trying to sign the athlete, selling their own memorabilia or from doing endorsements like television or print advertisements.
Unfortunately for the NCAA, they have not found a way to stop either athletes or agents from breaking these rules.
Players feel it is unfair and they are entitled to make some form of money or take advantage of their popularity. Schools are trying to get the best players on the planet for their team, and some players will only go to a certain school if they will get paid. Agents feel it is unfair because so many of them break this rule that if one was to play by the rules, he would not have any clients.
The question is, should the NCAA have the ability to prohibit athletes from getting paid, signing with agents, and doing endorsements?
The NCAA is an association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organize athletic events and programs. (NCAA) The NCAA consists of three different divisions, each with their own guidelines and rules. Division I and II athletes can get a form of scholarship, which is a grant or payment for their education and possibly living.
“The self-proclaimed “basic purpose” of the NCAA is, “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, retain a clear line of demarcation between intercollegiate athletics and professional Sports.”
The most controversial rule in recent years has been NCAA Bylaw 12.3. This bylaw states, “A student-athlete may not agree, verbally or in writing, to be represented by an athlete agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete’s ability or reputation.” This bylaw also mentions that student-athletes, their friends, and their family may not accept transportation or any other benefits from agents. The NCAA refers to agents as actual sport agents, any financial advisor, or any individual who becomes friends with the student-athlete and frequently gives them unfair and unwarranted gifts or benefits.
The NCAA has policies when a student-athlete violates this bylaw. The violation is that, “Universities and colleges that belong to the NCAA must disqualify student athletes who accept gifts or sign representation contracts with sports agents.”
If a student-athlete fails to abide by this bylaw, they shall be deemed ineligible to compete and they may lose awards previously won while also having the pay back the value of the gifts and benefits.
The most widely known violation of this bylaw was Reggie Bush and the University of Southern California(USC) football program.