The NCAA & March Madness is…Madness
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March Madness is now over, with Villanova winning the title on Monday, but almost everybody is still talking about the NCAA event that takes place every March in which the finest college basketball teams are separated into brackets and compete against each other until one team becomes the winner of that year’s March Madness tournament and is crowned the national champion. It’s a very popular event that people gather around to watch… But should they?
College athletes are often unnoticed, getting paid in scholarships or popularity. However, popularity is more likely to be won than scholarships are. And that’s the problem. The NCAA has been under fire for this, as they should be, and what they have done to cause that is absolutely horrible. The NCAA claimed that the players shouldn’t be paid because of the 13th amendment. If you didn’t know, the 13th amendment states that involuntary service is legal in the case that the person has been convicted of a crime. But that shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. They believe that students attending college should be treated and paid the same way as prisoners who have committed a crime. This is especially insulting to all of the African American basketball players, because, as many may know, African Americans have been accused of crimes they have never committed.
This also brings in the topic of Amateurism, which the NCAA commonly uses as defense against these allegations that have been placed on them. If you don’t know, amateurism is a sort of title given to college athletes that claims that they play as a hobby, and not for the money. Though playing as a hobby may be true, they still deserve to be paid. They were never asked if they even wanted to be paid, and instead, the NCAA just assumed that they could keep all of the money that these games earn. College students are barely able to afford their tuition, along with trying to keep themselves alive. So, getting paid for these games that they play should definitely be a necessity as they won’t be able to have a job outside of school if they’re preparing for the March Madness tournament.
But how many people truly know what is going on off of the courts? I asked ten people if they were aware of the basketball players being unpaid, and only three of them said that they did. If three out of ten people know what is going on, then that may be the reason why nothing has been fixed yet. If we raise more awareness about what is going on, the NCAA may take responsibility for their actions. But until then, all we can do is be the voice for the people who have to stay silent.