Summary Of The Shame Of College Sports

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We all come from somewhere. Our story defines who we are, what we stand for, what we are built upon. In the debate whether collegiate athletes should be paid it is easy to get lost in the numbers and dollar signs. In “The Shame of College Sports”, Taylor Branch took a step back to evaluate the values and conditions that the NCAA was built upon. Telling the story through historical moments and recounting important lawsuits, Taylor gives a biased rendition and account of the NCAA’s upbringing. Much of the conversation around Collegiate athletics is an argument of definition. With the term, “student-athlete”, being thrown around in courtrooms and constant debate over its meaning, Branch investigates the words derivation and applicability.
In an …show more content…

It feels abhorrent—but for reasons having to do more with sentiment than with practicality or law. Not just fans and university presidents but judges have often found cursory, non-statutory excuses to leave amateur traditions intact”. Phrases such as “reflexively recoiled” and “abhorrent” are very strong and paint a vivid contrast. By invalidating his own former opinions and using very strong language, Branch creates a dogmatism. Throughout the article Branch enumerates strong bias through terminology. Branch uses terms and phrases such as repeatedly calling the NCAA a “cartel” or referring to the work that the athletes put in as “unpaid labor”. Calling the athletes “unpaid laborers”, is an equivocation that gives the appearance that these athletes aren’t not being compensated in anyway. These kinds of biases are a constant theme throughout. Branch attempted to compare colonialism to the current condition of collegiate athletics, “college sports, as overseen by the NCAA, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with hoary sentiments about caring for the well-being of the colonized. But it is, nonetheless, unjust. The NCAA, in …show more content…

Branch described NCAA as unorganized conglomeration, “built of a mixture of noble and venal impulses”, claiming that it, “enshrined amateur ideals that it was helpless to enforce”. Branch describing Walter Byers, a key founding member, “He wore cowboy boots and a toupee. He shunned personal contact, obsessed over details, and proved himself a bureaucratic master of pervasive, anonymous intimidation”. This ad hominem attack of Walter Byers is not representative of what kind of values he holds and undermines his ethos as a leader. Byers was the one created the phrase “Student-Athlete”. This ambiguous term was designed to be transparent. Branch claimed that this term allowed athletes to “be forgiven for not meeting the academic standards of their peers”. This non-sequitur claim ignores all the rules and regulations the NCAA and universities hold their players to calling it a, “shield”. Branch claims that academics has been completely, “distorted by all the money sloshing around” and that, “when you combine so much money with such high, almost tribal, stakes—football boosters are famously rabid in their zeal to have their alma mater win—corruption is likely to follow.” Branch then supported his claim and listed several schemes and scandals that have plagued the NCAA since its inception. Branch claims the NCAA has created a system of inequality and that players will be paid regardless of

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