NCAA vs. College Athletes

And so it began, my first college homework assignment. I logged onto the ever so difficult website, and was directed to two articles. It caught my attention that one of the articles was from the website Grantland, which I had looked at many times throughout high school, and that sparked my interest. Dispatches From the NCAA’s Deathbed was written by Charles P. Pierce in June of 2014 and discussed the trial of O’Bannon v. NCAA. This trial determined whether or not the NCAA has the right to make profit from a video game using the name of a collegiate athlete without giving them any benefits from the distribution of the game. It is well known in the world of college sports that athletes are not allowed to profit, in any way, from their respective sport. In this case, Ed O’Bannon was upset with the fact that the NCAA is allowed to make an avatar of him and put him into a video game, with none of the profit going his way.

From the years 2011-2012, the NCAA revenue was 871.6 million dollars, none of which was spent on the athletes that are making the organization that much money. Ed O’Brannon is not creating this lawsuit in order for players to be payed to play. On the contrary, he is creating this lawsuit in order to keep an athletes name, image, and likeness separate from any advertisement through video games. In a sense, when someone plays all of the NCAA Football and Basketball games, while the players may not have their names labeled, it is still clear exactly who is on the team. This is where it was ruled not acceptable for the NCAA to take what is closest to college athletes: name, image, likeness.

Most people argue with the ruling of this case because of the belief that students athletes have scholarships which fill in for not being payed. Yet, an athletes scholarship goes all to school, books, housing, etc… leaving very little left over, if any, for players to spend on personal necessities. As a student athlete myself, there are many costs that come along with college other than what the scholarship covers. Whether it be fans for the dorm room or even gas to get to and from your college back to your hometown. Another factor in this debate is that athletes can not put forth the time to earn extra money with a job due to their time consuming activities on their respective fields and in the classrooms.

Lastly, there should be less of an argument about whether the NCAA should be allowed to use individual player’s names because they are the sole reason the athletes are not getting payed. The organization that creates the games are willing to pay the players themselves, but the NCAA puts strict bans on that, so the NCAA ends up receiving all the money.

While the Judge did rule against the NCAA in this case, there is no knowing what they will counter it with.