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Essay on The Student as an Athlete

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The Student as an Athlete

The student athlete is a term often used to describe a member of the student body at an institution as well as a member of one of the schools athletic teams. This is not a label that includes students who play recreational sports during their leisure time; this term is used for those students who split their time between athletics and academics.

In the beginning of inter-collegiate competition and even now the governing body the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) wanted athletes to maintain their amateurism. Being an amateur means, to remain unpaid why competing and performing a c. Athletes were to come from the student body and off-campus recruitment of athletes was prohibited. The problem with the many rules and regulations of the NCAA early on was that they expected schools to police themselves and uphold a certain amount of morality, but without checks and balances corruption was sure to take place and did so. From the late 1920’s and into the 1940’s big-time athletes would be “sponsored” by alumni in order to get them to play for that schools team. The alumni would usually just pay the tuition for the athlete and usually it was seen as a loan but rarely got paid back.

In 1948 the NCAA passed new legislation called the Sanity Code which allowed for institutions to pay for the tuition of “exceptional” athletes as long as they could qualify academically. The Sanity Code would last about ten yeas then it would be replaced by a new financial aid package that is very similar to the one used today. This package allows for a school to pay for an athlete’s tuition, room and board and other fee’s like books etc in return for the athlete’s services. To many critics this was seen as th...


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...rity even if they don’t produce right away. Underclassmen will continue to leave early as long as there are NBA teams that want them and as long as college basketball continues to perpetuate the myth of the amateur athlete.

College basketball has gone from amateur competition to multi-million dollar tournaments and will continue to get larger and larger. The student-athlete is no longer a student and has become more and more of an athlete. Admissions are loosened and deals are made in order to get the best basketball players in the land. Athletes who are not students are criticized when they leave for the pros even though they are probably doing the right thing by not perpetuating the myth of academics and athletics. College basketball has become a multi-million dollar industry whether schools will admit it or not and the student athlete is the one getting played.


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