John Infante’s rebuttal to the indentured servitude argument that gets thrown the NCAA’s way is so spot on I’m tempted to add “The Deal” to the Lexicon just so I can use it as shorthand in response to every future whine about paying student-athletes to play.
… The onus then in put on the NCAA to improve the deal it offers to student-athletes. And not just at the margins in terms of multi-year scholarships or better training. Rather, the NCAA membership is pressured to change the fundamentals of the agreement by eliminating the restrictions on profiting from one’s athletic ability and/or reducing or eliminating the academic requirements.
But it was not the NCAA who made the current deal offered to student-athletes the only one available. It was the NFL and NBA who took advantage of the fact that the NCAA operates the only 18-23 year old developmental league at zero cost to the professional league it feeds athletes into in the world. If Division I athletics were not played at the level they are, it would be both unconscionable and unprofitable to both bar high schoolers from entering the professional ranks and refuse to operate a minor league focused on development.
Make sure you read it all.