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NCAA Should Investigate What Happened to Hospitalized Oregon Players

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The news that three University of Oregon football players were hospitalized following off-season workouts should be raising yet another red flag. College football is supposed to be an extra activity, yet it seems as if workouts are part of the job. The next question that should be raised, was this was a voluntary workout or did the players understand that voluntary doesn’t mean voluntary? These are student-athletes who have a scholarship, a chance at an education and are the stars of the college football show who risk their health and yet do not get paid for their labor.

These facts that are true about the college sports industry. College football players cannot organize and form a labor association, according to the National Labor Relations Board, and the adults who hold office in the Ohio legislature made sure teenagers and young adults putting for their bodies on the line for Ohio State University cannot be considered school employees and therefore cannot be paid.

Another true fact, a student-athlete can lose a scholarship at a
coach’s whim. And the colleges and universities who use the student-athletes on the field are not responsible for long term health care for the players even though injuries suffered on the playing field might not become evident for years after the player leaves the school. The college presidents, chancellors, trustees don’t seem to be too interested in players health.

Coaches are getting paid big salaries, athletic directors apparently get bonuses based on performance or how well the teams do.  Television networks pay billions for the rights to games from big time conferences. It seems an awful lot of people have their hands in the college football revenue pie, yet the stars of the show cannot get a dime. The public just wants to be entertained and the players should be grateful for the opportunity to give it all for the school.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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