I think the answer to this question is very simple: if the NCAA continues not paying college athletes, specifically men’s basketball players and football players, then these young athletes should have every right to go pro immediately out of high school. Our first debate was centered on this issue and I think a lot, if not everything, we discussed then is important in this discussion as well. The college system is exploiting these world-class athletes by making millions off their talents and names, without ever giving them a cent. “We pay them in scholarships” “They are getting a free education” are just two of the arguments that the NCAA will continue to use when justifying this free labor system and in my opinion, it is all a front. They say these things to look good on the outside, but in reality, it just protects their money making machine.
Surprisingly enough, the NCAA is not the only organization that is to blame for this problem. The NBA and NFL are actually the institutions that imposed these rules. When they made these rules they presented them in such a positive light, just like the NCAA. “Stay in school” “Prepare for life after (insert sport here)” “Learn responsibility” yeah it all sounds great, but again it is only a fake front. In reality, they are using college athletics as a free minor league system. They force these athletes to stay in college for 1-3 years, depending on the league, and they continuously critique them. They scrutinize every aspect of the athlete’s game and life, all while these guys risk career ending injuries every time they step on the court or field. All of this occurs in a twisted system where nobody has to pay the athlete. Both the NCAA and the professional league continue to make unheard of amounts of money on these athletes, and they do not see a single penny. If this restrictive control occurred in any other aspect of someone’s life it just would not be tolerated. Courts would side with the person being exploited for their talents every single time, but for some reason college athletes do not receive that sort of protection. Why are college athletes the only group of young people that is controlled like this? Why is there no protection for them, their talents, and their likeness? These questions will continue to baffle me until something is done. At some point athletes will have to stand up for themselves and get what they so rightfully deserve.