College athletes still being denied rights

By: Evan Shaub – Opinions Editor

On Oct. 22, the National Collegiate Athletic Association released a statement saying that allowing 13-year-old Mo’Ne Davis to profit off of her own name and likeness didn’t compromise their rules.

When I heard this, a question immediately popped into my mind – why does the NCAA have any say in the life of a 13-year-old grade school student?

This decision doesn’t make sense on many different levels.

The NCAA hands out suspensions left and right to college athletes who profit off of their own name and likeness in different ways. This needs to stop.

Examples of this can be seen in recent suspensions of athletes such as Georgia running back Todd Gurley who was suspended earlier this year. It was alleged that Gurley had received more than $3,000 in financial compensation for signing apparel. Gurley appealed his four game suspension in front of the NCAA board, and the decision was upheld.

Gurley will finally be eligible to play Nov. 15, when the Bulldogs take on Auburn.

As a consequence of his suspension, the NCAA also mandated that Gurley do 40 hours of community service.

So, he has to do 40 hours of community service – a punishment usually reserved for individuals who have committed misdemeanor crimes – because he signed an autograph on a jersey that had his number on it.

The school probably made $70 off of the jersey. The people he signed the autograph for probably made twice that after the jersey was signed, but Gurley wasn’t allowed to profit from that at all. In fact, he receives a suspension and community service for doing so. It makes no sense. None at all.

There’s no other business in the United States where this would this be an acceptable practice.

It goes against all of the values that the United States of America was built on. The NCAA is a racket that operates within the legal limits of U.S. law.

The athletes are the ones that draw 80,000 fans into the stadium and millions of viewers at home, but they aren’t allowed to profit at all, then the athlete is deemed selfish when he or she is try to profit.

All of that leads back to the question: Why does the NCAA have any say on whether or not a 13-year-old is allowed to be in a commercial?

It makes no sense.

Mo’Ne Davis isn’t even in high school yet, and the NCAA thinks it has a say on whether or not she’s allowed to profit on her own name and likeness.

College athletes are already deemed employees in the eyes of the law by a district court in Chicago, but they are still not receiving the benefits they deserve. The NCAA continues to fight back against any notion that college athletes are employees because it relieves the organization of financial and moral responsibility toward the players.

College athletes have been denied their rights for too long. It’s time for that to change.

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