Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Research Post #10: Abstract, Link, Bibliography


In this paper, I look to analyze the multitude of arguments both for and against the compensation of Division I college athletes and its roots in the privatization of higher education. Since the formation of the NCAA, student athletes have never been monetarily compensated. Support in favor of the compensation of student athletes has picked up over the past several years and has grown to a media-worthy level. There are those who support the current non-salary system backed by a principle known as amateurism. There are also those who believe the student athletes are being taken advantage of under the guise of amateurism. As it stands, the NCAA is currently on trial in a case that could change the whole system of collegiate sports.



Bergo, Adam. Personal Interview. 18 November 2013.

Brill, John. "Should College Athletes Be Paid?" The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism RSS. N.p., 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 05 Oct. 2013.

Burton, Richard. "Athletes Are Already Paid With Their Education." US News. U.S.News & World Report, 02 Apr. 2013. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.

Eder, Steve. "E.A. Sports Settles Lawsuit With College Athletes." The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 Sept. 2013. Web.

ESPN. "RecruitingNation: Should College Athletes Be Paid?" YouTube. YouTube, 11 Jan. 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2013. <>.

Kahn, Lawrence M. "Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports."Latest TOC RSS. American Economic Association, Winter 2007. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.
Litan, Robert E., Jonathan M. Orszag, and Peter R. Orszag. 2003. The Empirical Effects of Collegiate Athletics: An Interim Report. Washington, DC: Sebago Associates. Commissioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, August.

Miller, Anthony W. "United States Sports Academy - "America's Sports University"" NCAA Division I Athletics: Amateurism and Exploitation. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2013.

"National Collegiate Athletic Association." Remaining Eligible. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

NEA Higher Education Research Center.  “Higher Education and Privatization.”  NEA Update.  10.2 (March 2004). Web.

Riper, Tom Van. "Sorry Time Magazine: Colleges Have No Reason To Pay Athletes."Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 06 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

Sack, Allen. "Should College Athletes Be Paid?" N.p., 07 Mar. 2008. Web. 06 Oct. 2013.

Smith, Yannick. Personal Interview. 18 November 2013.
Turner, Sarah E., Lauren A. Meserve, and William G. Bowen. 2001. “Winning and Giving: Football Results and Alumni Giving at Selective Private Colleges and Universities.” Social Science Quarterly. December, 82(4), 812–26.

Zimbalist, A. S. Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2001. Print.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Literature Review #5

The Empirical Effects of Collegiate Athletics: An Interim Report

Robert E. Litan (Shown above)
Jonathan M. Orszag
Peter R. Orszag

MLA Citation:

Litan, Robert E., Jonathan M. Orszag, and Peter R. Orszag. 2003. The Empirical Effects of Collegiate Athletics: An Interim Report. Washington, DC: Sebago Associates. Commissioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, August.


This empirical report economically summarizes several different hypotheses regarding collegiate athletics. In regards to my paper (the report is very long), it gives conclusive evidence involving the correlation between winning percentages of Division I football teams and alumni support. It uses statistics and empirical econometric analysis to reach these conclusions.

About the Author:

Robert E. Litan is the Vice President for Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and has formerly served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Key Terms:

Institutional Support- monetary revenue granted to a school's athletic program from other parts of the school.

Adjusted Net Revenue- a sports program's final revenue after institutional and state support are subtracted.


"The correlation of winning percentages two years apart is 33 to 51 percent; that correlation suggests some degree of mobility in winning percentages from year to year."

"Expanded athletic programs appear to be neither the road to riches nor the road to financial ruin."

"Indeed, looking across Division I-A in 2001, schools that spent more on football tended to have higher levels of net revenue from football than schools that spent less on football (Figure 8)."


This report simply provided me with another much-needed economical view at the compensation debate. It discusses the correlation between winning percentages and alumni donation, which supports one of the anti-compensation arguments analyzed in my paper. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Research Blog #9: Argument and Counter-Argument

The student athlete compensation debate is one filled with arguments and counter-arguments. Among the arguments supporting compensation of student athletes, there is:

1. The idea that colleges make large revenues from ticket sales and should give the factors of production (players) part of that revenue.

2. Student athletes often do not have the time to get a job, and therefore need some source of income.

3. Companies and schools are capitalizing off of the likenesses of student athletes through merchandising and should be paying the student athletes for that right.

My paper is analytical, so I will not state whether or not I agree or disagree with any of those ideas. However, some common counter-arguments are:

1. The NCAA operates on the principle of "amateurism" which is maintained through strict guidelines that prohibit athlete salaries, among other rules.

2. Student athletes are students first, and they are receiving a free education. Therefore, a salary is unneeded.

3. The majority of colleges' athletic programs generally either break-even or operate at a financial deficit and do not truly profit off of student athletes.

In general, most of the literature I have used in my bibliography deals with the idea of amateurism and the use of merchandising by schools.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Research Blog #8: Interview

For my interview, I chose to pick the brain of a Rutgers track runner and good friend of mine, Adam Bergo. During the interview, I simply asked his opinion of the student athlete compensation debate and whether or not he believes division I athletes should be paid. Adam stated, "I don't believe that student athletes should receive a salary but greater compensation besides scholarship is needed. I believe universities and the NCAA should put together an annual bonus plan that awards the student athletes for their accomplishents because the pay and bonus is merit and performance based to keep the student-athletes at bay." I then brought attention to the video game licensing debate, and asked his opinion on the matter of schools selling the likenesses of their players for profit. He said he definitely thinks this is wrong because the players do not get paid. At the same time, he said he still approves initial idea of putting that revenue into a collective fund.

I chose Adam because I was interested in the opinion of a Rutgers athlete. At the same time, he is not a football or basketball player so I found him free of bias, which was a plus.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Research Blog #7: My Case

The point of my research is to present the arguments and possible causes in regard to the student athlete compensation debate. While I do have an opinion on the debate, I am choosing to withdraw it from my paper and remain as unbiased as possible and completely analytic. I would like the reader to draw his own conclusions based on the information I give about all angles of the argument. Amongst the two general arguments or "cases," there is one that supports the payment of college athletes and one that does not. The case that is against the compensation of Division I student athletes bases its beliefs of the idea of a term called "amateurism." Amateurism is a principle that the NCAA has upheld since the early 20th century and is loosely defined as the responsibility for student athletes to be students first and athletes second. That means they can not make a salary, have an agent, or engage in any other activities that mimic that of a professional athlete. The counter argument to this comes in the form of the second case. This case states that college athletes are being taken advantage of due to the huge revenues the NCAA generates for itself through tournaments and bowl games, not to mention ticket sales, video game licensing, and apparel (much of which uses the players' likenesses and names). Supporters of this case say that the NCAA has abandoned the idea of amateurism long ago, but keeps it as a principle so that they do not have to pay their athletes. While these two cases may be straight to the point, there also happens to be many other views on this debate that were discovered after some research and will be outlined in my final paper. For more information on these two arguments, I will post a couple articles that I used in my paper below.

Research Blog #6: Visual

In this image found on the internet, we see a powerful display which supports those in favor of paying student athletes. It is significant because it shows the combined salary in 2011 of top 15 highest-paid coaches in college football to be 53.4 million dollars while the combined salaries of the 13,877 Division I football players to be nothing. This is startling data because colleges clearly do not view the idea of coaching as falling under the sanctity of amateurism. Also, it is usually not the likenesses and names of the coaches used for apparel and video game sales, which begs the question as to whether or not the student athletes are getting taken advantage of.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Literature Review #4

Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports

Lawrence M. Kahn

MLA Citation:

Kahn, Lawrence M. "Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports."Latest TOC RSS. American Economic Association, Winter 2007. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.


This scholarly study examines the business habits of the NCAA and cross-analyzes it with the behavior and theory of cartels. In the economic analysis, author Lawrence M. Kahn discusses the decisions made by the NCAA and how those decisions effect overall revenue. He concludes that restricting payment to the players while preserving amateurism and generating revenue is evidence of cartel behavior. He also discusses the racial disparity in regards to where the money is going. In other words, the average athlete who is predominantly African-American is not getting paid while the predominantly white NCAA executive is taking in large revenues.

About the Author:

Lawrence M. Kahn is a Professor of Labor Economics and Collective Bargaining at Cornell University. He is also a Specialized Co-Editor of Economic Inquiry in the field of sports economics.

Key Terms:

Under-the-Table Payment- refers to the compensation many college athletes receive secretly and illegally from perspective talent agents.

Monopsony- a market situation in which there is only one buyer


"Evidence that the best college athletes are paid below a competitive level of compensation is based in part on estimates of the marginal revenue product of these players" (Kahn 211).

"Of course, going to college may have smaller benefits for those who don’t graduate, and low graduation rates in big-time athletic programs have received considerable publicity" (Kahn 213).

"Football and men’s basketball are by far the most lucrative sports, raising $12.97 million and $4.25 million, respectively, in revenue per Division I-A school in 2003, or about 59 percent of total revenues" (Fulks, 2005a, pp. 30, 48).


This is the first economic review I have looked at. It provides a supplement to the conclusions of the author in the form of economic analysis and numbers. This comes in handy because the motivations behind the behavior of the NCAA are largely because of the economic value of their decisions. This article is in support of student athlete compensation, and could be used in the counterargument against amateurism.