"Student-Athlete"

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"Student-Athlete"

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:21 am

This is a pretty interesting read on ESPN: http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8396753/ncaa-policy-chief-proposes-dropping-student-athlete-term

It seems that the major item in question in the article is the college football and basketball video games, but I am sure you can carry the points across to all sorts of marketing tools and products. I do personally feel that when you are a men's basketball or football players at the BCS schools, you are probably not that "amateur."

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Re: "Student-Athlete"

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:44 am

The origins of the term "Student athlete" was originally a ploy to avoid workman's compensation claims by families of horribly injured football players and of players killed playing football. It was coined to deliberately obscure whether a person had the rights of a student (education) or of an athlete (employee).

Obligatory reading is an article written in the Atlantic last year:
"The Shame of College Sports", byTaylor Branch. It goes over the history of money and power in college sports for everything from eligibility to money, and includes this tidbit on the concept of the Student Athlete.

Today, much of the NCAA’s moral authority—indeed much of the justification for its existence—is vested in its claim to protect what it calls the “student-athlete.” The term is meant to conjure the nobility of amateurism, and the precedence of scholarship over athletic endeavor. But the origins of the “student-athlete” lie not in a disinterested ideal but in a sophistic formulation designed, as the sports economist Andrew Zimbalist has written, to help the NCAA in its “fight against workmen’s compensation insurance claims for injured football players.”

“We crafted the term student-athlete,” Walter Byers himself wrote, “and soon it was embedded in all NCAA rules and interpretations.” The term came into play in the 1950s, when the widow of Ray Dennison, who had died from a head injury received while playing football in Colorado for the Fort Lewis A&M Aggies, filed for workmen’s-compensation death benefits. Did his football scholarship make the fatal collision a “work-related” accident? Was he a school employee, like his peers who worked part-time as teaching assistants and bookstore cashiers? Or was he a fluke victim of extracurricular pursuits? Given the hundreds of incapacitating injuries to college athletes each year, the answers to these questions had enormous consequences. The Colorado Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the school’s contention that he was not eligible for benefits, since the college was “not in the football business.”

The term student-athlete was deliberately ambiguous. College players were not students at play (which might understate their athletic obligations), nor were they just athletes in college (which might imply they were professionals). That they were high-performance athletes meant they could be forgiven for not meeting the academic standards of their peers; that they were students meant they did not have to be compensated, ever, for anything more than the cost of their studies. Student-athlete became the NCAA’s signature term, repeated constantly in and out of courtrooms.

Using the “student-athlete” defense, colleges have compiled a string of victories in liability cases. On the afternoon of October 26, 1974, the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs were playing the Alabama Crimson Tide in Birmingham, Alabama. Kent Waldrep, a TCU running back, carried the ball on a “Red Right 28” sweep toward the Crimson Tide’s sideline, where he was met by a swarm of tacklers. When Waldrep regained consciousness, Bear Bryant, the storied Crimson Tide coach, was standing over his hospital bed. “It was like talking to God, if you’re a young football player,” Waldrep recalled.

Waldrep was paralyzed: he had lost all movement and feeling below his neck. After nine months of paying his medical bills, Texas Christian refused to pay any more, so the Waldrep family coped for years on dwindling charity.

Through the 1990s, from his wheelchair, Waldrep pressed a lawsuit for workers’ compensation. (He also, through heroic rehabilitation efforts, recovered feeling in his arms, and eventually learned to drive a specially rigged van. “I can brush my teeth,” he told me last year, “but I still need help to bathe and dress.”) His attorneys haggled with TCU and the state worker-compensation fund over what constituted employment. Clearly, TCU had provided football players with equipment for the job, as a typical employer would—but did the university pay wages, withhold income taxes on his financial aid, or control work conditions and performance? The appeals court finally rejected Waldrep’s claim in June of 2000, ruling that he was not an employee because he had not paid taxes on financial aid that he could have kept even if he quit football. (Waldrep told me school officials “said they recruited me as a student, not an athlete,” which he says was absurd.)

The long saga vindicated the power of the NCAA’s “student-athlete” formulation as a shield, and the organization continues to invoke it as both a legalistic defense and a noble ideal. Indeed, such is the term’s rhetorical power that it is increasingly used as a sort of reflexive mantra against charges of rabid hypocrisy.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/308643/1/

Set aside some time. It is a very comprehensive article.

Geezaldinho
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Re: "Student-Athlete"

Post by DoubleDipper on Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:27 am

“At Power Five (conference) schools, student athletes are treated a step above students,” Castilleja said. “At UP, it’s more egalitarian.”

From today's Beacon:
http://www.upbeacon.com/2015/11/19/its-a-balancing-act/

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