Because I’m exceptionally organized and my class a well-oiled machine with every move carefully timed . . . Okay, no. But a combination of luck and planning meant that today my Taboo Trades and Forbidden Markets seminar covered amateurism and the NCAA.
There was something especially rewarding about our discussion of the NCAA cartel as the nation (Erik Gerding excepted) prepared to root against my employer, which apparently continues to be the most hated team in America. The class was notable for another reason as well: we read a Duke law journal note, The NCAA's Lost Cause And The Legal Ease Of Redefining Amateurism (59 Duke L. J. 555 (2009)), authored by a student from last year’s Taboo Trades seminar, Virginia Fitt (Class of 2010). From the abstract:
Calling for a shift to a “new amateurism,” this Note contributes a novel redefinition of amateurism that reflects the current environment of intercollegiate sport. Modern amateurism should recognize the profit motive of the student-athlete. Under a less restrictive NCAA rule-making regime, the remaining rules are enforceable and fair. In substituting protections for student-athletes in place of the current paternalism, the NCAA will reduce the likelihood that future rules will be overturned by court challenges.
Our other reading for this week, Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports, by Lawrence M. Kahn, attacks the presumed value of amateurism more directly. But for Erik, I have a different reading recommendation.