Paying the Players

If a slave is defined as someone forced to work for an owner without pay, are NCAA student-athletes slaves? Student-athletes should be considered employees with a full-time job, but instead athletes in college face many problems and challenges when it comes to money and finances. Athletes receive scholarships based on their athletic performance on the field, court, or in the ring but these athletes have no time for a job to pay for personal expenses. While not having any money to spend on their own, the organization who says they support and represents them makes billions a year from their talents. While people believe athletes have enough, these athletes struggle with everyday expenses because they don’t have the time many other students do to bring in an income. This issue is especially important to me because I am a Division II student-athlete involved in this culture and would like to understand where all the money the NCAA is making is going, because it is not being distributed to the athletes who produce this revenue. This revenue should be distributed to the student-athletes who do not have the finances to assist with personal expenses.

Athletic scholarships are given to student-athletes who perform exceptionally well on his or her playing field or court. These scholarship, average $25,000, cover the basic cost of college: meal plan, housing, books, and tuition, yet despite the education costs being paid for none of this money reaches the athlete’s pockets (Hartnett). The problem is not the scholarships, instead it’s the lack of additional money for everyday expenses, such as money to wash laundry, buy food, and products for personal hygiene. These products, which are not covered in an athletic scholarship, can cost at least $500 over the course of a school year which are expensive even though they are needed. While some athletes are on full scholarship, not all are. Not only do these athletes have to be worried about personal expenses, they have to pay for college out of pocket and to help with these cost they take out loans. Sports writer Tyson Hartnett observes that the additional funding low income athletes receive offers only minimal help: “Some players, if they come from a low-income household, get a few hundred dollars each semester from Pell Grants which enables them to buy chicken soup instead of chicken-flavored ramen” (Hartnett). Compared to their peers, student-athletes do not have the time to get a job to manage these expenses which they so desperately need.

Besides not having money to buy personal expenses, athletes do not have the time to go out and get a job. As Hartnett notes, “Being a student-athlete is a full time job” and from my personal experience it is nothing short of that. A typical day for me, during the offseason when it would be the most feasible time to get a job, goes as scheduled; class from around nine to one o’clock, a mandatory one-to-two hour workout, study hall, which is also mandatory, and to finish of the day with studying and homework. This is a Monday through Friday schedule for not only me but a majority of student-athletes around the country. On the contrary many people would say athletes can get a weekend job that will allow them to bring in a small income, but I don’t believe that is the case. Student-athletes need time on the weekend to do project and study for upcoming tests, not to mention the weekend is also another time athletes can put in voluntary work to improve their skills on the field or court, because if their performance drops their scholarship could be reworked. At Lenoir-Rhyne students have opportunities for work study, which is a job that involves service to the school, such as being a ball boy for an athletic event. These opportunities are great for students but not so much for the student-athletes who are participating in these athletic events or have a team function during these times. Even if a student-athlete was able to take part in one of these work study jobs, they would only be making seven dollars an hour for a three-hour game. Twenty-one dollars is not enough to get by according to the Huffington Post article “Why College Athletes Should be Paid,” “If each athlete got $2,000 paid over the course of the semester, this would give them some spending cash and an opportunity to start managing their money. Most athletic programs can’t afford to pay athletes on their own, so the NCAA and their executives need to figure out a way to start compensating their golden geese” (Hartnett). The organization who claims to take care of their beloved student-athletes does nothing to help pay for fanatical needs which these athletes need.

The NCAA is one of the largest and most powerful non-profit organizations who brings in a revenue of “$6 billion annual business with a largely unpaid labor force, and that doesn’t include the TV revenue from football that goes directly to conferences and their member schools” (D’Alessandro). Not only is the NCAA profiting off of these players, are as well the coaches. In the 2013 NCAA basketball tournament “Head coaches Rick Pitino, John Beilein and Greg Marshall […] collected a total $690,000 from tournament bonuses,” but I am not blaming this dilemma on the coaches because most do all they can to help out college athletes (Smith). The problem is out of hand when we look at situations like the one a few years ago that involved a handful of Ohio State football players. These players began signing autographs and selling their own personal memorabilia, such as game-worn jerseys, for trade and money for tattoos. Many people will say that these athletes don’t need these extras, but who are they to say that these men and women need? The Ohio State football players went out every day and worked for what they got on the field, and if they wish to sell their own jersey then they should be able to do so. Athletes are not signing “NCAA” when they sign a ball, so the question is, where is the problem? Why can’t an athlete make money from the NCAA just like the top executives who “are getting $1 million per year while an athlete can’t earn $50 from signing a few autographs” (Hartnett).

The likeness of these top players like Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney are marked and sold to fans every day. If you walk into a Texas A&M or University of South Carolina bookstore you will find a number two or number seven jersey, the jerseys of these two players. Just like the Ohio State players, Manziel and Clowney cannot sell their own jerseys but the school can. Just this year the video game NCAA Football produced by EA sports has been discontinued because this game has made millions over the years and none of the player’s in the game have ever made one penny. Players are starting to become upset with their likeness being marketed without any profit for themselves. At a small Division II college, we don’t face as many of the marketing issues like the players at bigger school, but as collegiate athletes we still bring in revenue for the NCAA. Just this past football season the Lenoir-Rhyne football team had three game’s broadcast on  ESPN, one of the biggest sports broadcasting networks in the world, which brought profit and publicity to the NCAA. Student athletes need justice in this situation because they are in need.

Finally, student-athletes face more challenges than regular students do. Collegiate athletes work extremely hard for their accomplishments yet they benefit very little. Some athletes may receive full scholarships, but so do many regular student who have time to get a job and pay for expenses, yet the young men and women who are from low-income families struggle to get the basics in college. Yes college athletes will get their degree and get a good paying job in four to five years, but that is in the future and the focus for these athletes is the present. The NCAA needs to meet the needs of student-athletes who fill the pockets of NCAA executives and risk their health to play the game they love. Just like me, other student-athletes love the sport they play and don’t want to give that up for financial needs. Student-athletes aren’t asking for much, just their fair share.



Works Cited

D’Alessandro, Dave. “Lawsuit Filed by Former Nets Forward Ed O’Bannon Threatens NCAA’s Economic Model.” N.p., 28 Mar. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

Hartnett, Tyson. “Why College Athletes Should Be Paid.” The Huffington Post., 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

Smith, Chris. “The Money Behind The NCAA Final Four.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 01 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.


One Act Play!

Character Guide

Carrie Packwood Freeman: Has wriiten for “Eugene Weekly” covering veganism and animal rights. She is also a teacher at Georgia State University who studies veganism and animal food production and how they are view in the media.


Abby Kaplan is a contributor to the newspaper at the school of Westtown. This is the first article she been assigned with and is currently working on another very opinionated paper in which she backs up with her facts from research. Kaplan has many opinions towards the gender roles of women and how they are changing the modern woman.


Janet Gonzalez-Mena: A Spanish author and teacher whose career began in California, working in the California University and Community College system for 35 years. At the beginning of her career she was a preschool volunteer teacher where she later on started the program Head Start, a program to help Spanish-speaking children and their families.

Gonzalez-Mena was also the co-author of he book Bridging Cultures in ECE (2002)


Debra Merskin: An University of Oregon professor who is also a researcher on how the media see’s women and minorities. The article she and Carrie Packwood Freeman wrote was first seen in “Food for Thought: Essays on Eating and Culture” (2008).


David B. Ryan has been a profession writer for many years. His work includes various books, articles for “The Plain Dealer” in Cleveland and essays for Oxford University Press. Ryan holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University and certifications in emergency management and health disaster response.



Abby Kaplan (Alexis): Do you know what bothers me? “The stereotype that women are weaker and more emotional than men” and because many believe this to be true, women are expected to do jobs that are less difficult.


Debra Merskin (Chase): Men are stronger and tougher than women, we find danger exciting and have propensity toward violence.


David B. Ryan (Kate): I was reading in the paper the other day how many people believe it to be true that toys influence gender roles.  That feminine-typed toys display nurturing traits, and masculine “toys show high levels of activity and mobility.”


Janet Gonzalez-Mena (Thomas): I don’t believe that to be true at all, “why does it matter if boys never play house or girls never play blocks? It doesn’t, if in other areas of their lives they are getting the skills they miss out on by avoiding these two activities.”


AK (Alexis): I disagree I believe it is important according to the stat the “in 2007, the average women earned 78 cents to every dollar earned by a man in the same position. That can add up to anywhere from $700,000 to $2 million dollars less over the course of a women’s career.”


JGM (Thomas): I do agree that boys and girls interacting in play at a young age encourages “dramatic play that gives boys a chance to be nurtures, to experience domestic relations, to feel comfortable trying on a variety of emotions.”


DBR (Kate): I have also read that “children using feminine-typed toys display nurturing traits and used toys in role play. Kids using masculine-typed toys show high levels of activity and mobility.”


DM (Chase): Boys playing with blocks can create a “macho personality constellation” in males.


AK (Alexis): Women playing so called house can lead to an image of hysterical, unreasonable woman, the opposite of what anybody would want in a leader.


JGM (Thomas): “Sometimes the adults in the program subtly encourage this kind of gender differentiation.”


AK (Alexis): “Studies show that women are also expected to work in different areas than men. Most women are concentrated in social work, childcare, and health aide type jobs.”


CF (Chase): Men are also seen to society sometimes and dominate “heterosexual” characters as in fast-food commercials males are seen with a “desire to consume animal meat and symbolically consume “flesh” of sexualized and objectified women.”


AK (Alexis): “These jobs generally pay less than so called “masculine” jobs such as work in math and sciences. Some might argue that this is a matter of choice, but part of it is also society’s influence. Even as young children, girls are steered away from “male” subjects. In many families, male education is also valued more than female education.”


JGM (Thomas): In many Schools you can check out the block area this is where you find the boys. The way the environment is set up. The girls are in the “housekeeping” corner playing with clothes, shoes, and purses that most boys won’t be attracted to. Making the environment where the boys are in the “dominate” block building area simulating as if they are doing labor work and the girls in the less dominate “housekeeping” area doing activities such as cleaning and playing in the kitchen.


DBR (Kate): “The message for girls centered appearance, including toy jewelry, costumes and play makeup.” “Female signals focused on domestic skills toys marketed for boys, including guns and soldiers, focused on fighting and aggression. Other male messages included competition, excitement, and an element of danger.”


CPF (Chase): Looking at Americas past culture especially in media such as movies and shows, “Cowboys tamed the “wild west” and all its inhabits reducing millions of acres of vast cattle grazing area, forever associating red meat with this supposedly brave and tough category of American men” therefore supporting men are seen in society as the dominate gender.


AK (Alexis): “A recent study showed that when looking at two identical resumes, one female name and one with a male name, both male and female employers gave the female one a lower score. The message is clear that men are still considered superior to women.”


DM (Chase): This can lead back to that the “macho personality constellation” “is comprised of three behavioral depositions: entitlement to callous sex, propensity toward violence, and danger as exciting.” Are all features that lead society to see males and the dominate gender.


AK (Alexis): The most extreme actions of male dominance can be seen in countries other than the United States. In some countries if “there is only enough money to send one child to school the child will most likely be male.” Also as far as some women will have an abortion if they find out that their baby is female.

Works Cited

Freeman, Carrie P., and Debra Merskin. “Having It His Way: The Construction of Masculinity.” “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. 454-79. Print.


Abby Kaplan. Traditional Gender Roles’ Devastating Effect on the Modern Woman 2012. Web. 25 MAR 2014


Gonzalez-Mena, Janet. “Gender Roles and Toys.” Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall, 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.


Ryan, David B. “What Messages About Gender Roles Can Be Associated With Toys”., 16 Feb. 2014.

Sports: The Societal Impact

Sports impact many people in many different ways, for some it’s a way out of poverty; a new beginning. For some it’s a way to release anger or get that feeling of satisfaction, and for some it’s just for pure enjoyment. Sports are not just for the players and coaches but for the fans, the community, and even the entire world. Sports evoke value and a feeling that one cannot captivate or experience anywhere else. While they are highly competitive and very high-stakes they bring people together, even if it is only for a few hours out of a day, no matter what side you are on-democratic or republican, religious or non-religious, black or white-the differences society places on individuals are diminished by the common ground we call the playing field.

To understand why sports are relevant in society not only today but how they impacted the development of society years and years ago I will address three readings from the book “They Say/I Say”: “Why Sports Matter,” “Champion of the World,” and “In Defense of Cheering.” For me, sports are an enormous part of my life and to be able to read and understand how they have impacted schools, individuals, and even whole groups of people really hits home for me because it reminds me of the impact and power of a pastime in which I am a player but which is for bigger purposes that can impact me later in life. For me I would say that if it wasn’t for football I wouldn’t be able to have built some of the friendships that I have throughout the years, and also I wouldn’t have that outline of how to live my life. Sports have taught me to stay strong when adversity hits and also to help other when the going gets tough. Sports inevitably teach you how to the “I” out and replace it with “Us.”

Sheed, Wilfrid. “Why Sports Matter.” “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. 2nd ed. Graff, Birkenstein, Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 489-511. Print.

In “Why Sports Matter,” Wilfrid Sheed explains how the view of sports changed over time, starting in the nineteenth century, from the bad guy to the good guy everyone wants to be with. Sports brought on a new attitude that other aspects of life couldn’t match and demanded very much from everyone, even the ones that never had anything asked of before. Like life, sports throw things at a person that they cannot control, as Sheed suggests, “Sports are in fact as unfeeling as life itself. The ref still calls penalties against you even when you’re down 50-0, and the scoreboard won’t be adjusted afterward to make you feel better. Nowhere does self-esteem take a worse pounding than on a sports field”(510). Just as Sheed says, sports make one “toughen up” and accept that life is unfair at times.

Wilfrid Sheed feels that education and teachers have something to learn from sports and that “athletes have something to teach the student body” (499). The education system doesn’t demand students to be all they can be like sports do which are driven by coaches that make discipline the number-one priority. Sheed believes if teachers look to coaches for that way to address the class and demand excellence out of every single individual and have that will to succeed, then education would be deemed higher in a world ruled by sports.

Angelou, Maya. “Champion of the World.” “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. 2nd ed. Graff, Birkenstein, Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 484-88. Print.

Maya Angelou describes her community, the African-American community, gathered in a small general store all huddled around a radio listening to a boxing match, all silent so that no one misses a single sound of the match. Sports may have more of an impact on communities like this. African-Americans in the 30’s and 40’s needed hope from some place whether that be from religion or even from a boxing match, a single win for one famous African-American boxer was a win for the entire community. It didn’t just bring the satisfaction of a win, it brought the hope that one day any one person could fight the fight and get out of his or her situation. Sports, in this case boxing, didn’t just bring entertainment it brought hope to those who needed it the most.

Yabroff, Jennie. “In Defense of Cheering.” “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. 2nd ed. Graff, Birkenstein, Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 524-28. Print.

In her essay “In Defense of Cheering,” Jennie Yabroff claims that cheerleading is more than just a sideline spirit squad. Instead cheerleaders are competitive athletes just like any other sport and compete at the highest level possible. Yabroff gives insight that cheering was once an all-male event and that males are coming back into the sport and is now 50 percent male (526). Cheering like any other sport demands focus, dedication, and leadership which becomes a handy tool later in life; just ask FDR, Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, former presidents who were all college cheerleaders. Cheering brings more to the table than just the traditional “Rah! Rah!” at sporting events, it bring a sport and an attitude all its own.