The Commodity of the Amateur Athlete Before a person can decide whether or not a situation is ethical there must be a code of ethics or a set of moral guidelines established. These guidelines help a person or organization decide whether or not they are being ethical in the decisions being made. Once an organization has a consistent set of morals it can create a mission or purpose.
The NCAA’s main purpose is to ” govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount. This statement of purpose by the NCAA is an ethically sound one. It bases the value of fairness, welfare of others, equal opportunity, and sportsmanship as core beliefs. These values can be considered ethical because they are striving to promote the best in the athletes and hold them to a standard of decency. (Our Mission and core values)Because the NCAA is ethical, how should it deal with schools turning a learning experience into a business that wants to make profit at the expense of the athlete? Who is responsible for abiding to these ethical standards set forth in the NCAA purpose? (Ethics, Egotistic ethics. The NCAA allows for DI and DII, to offer partial and full scholarships to athletes admitted to NCAA eligible academic institution. The NCAA however does not allow division III to offer athletic scholarships.
More than 1. 8 billion dollars is given each year to athletes for scholarships. This situation stirs up a few ethical questions. Are athletes being exploited by the NCAA system of recruitment? If athletes are being exploited by recruiting then should the NCAA revise its recruiting guidelines? The problem is that Coaching in the division one area has become continuously more competitive.Coaches are stressed to win in order to keep their jobs. This makes players a commodity, as coaches want to get the top-level recruit, but at the same time keep other beneficial athletes from attending rival schools. The athletic teams are in NCAA therefore the coaches should abide by and emphasize an ethical code.
This ethical code should be integrated in all parts of the team, everything from the team philosophy to recruiting. Some coaches like Purdue’s Joe Tiller believe and practice this concept; while other coaches ignore it and deceive recruits.With the heightened competition to land recruits coaches’ start recruiting younger. This is where some coaches become highly unethical. Some coaches deceive and lie to players trying to get them to revoke or prevent the player from committing to rival schools. “More times than not, the model is create nightmares and build dreams,” says Coach Mackovic of Arizona. (Dienhart, Tom) Coaches try to make competing programs look bad, so bad that players will revoke their oral commitments.
Then they turnaround and make their program seem like the opportunity of a lifetime.Coaches that recruit this way are thinking completely in a egotistical way. They are not trying to look out for the welfare of the recruit, but instead trying to use the recruit to protect their own livelihood. Basically the coach is using the recruit as a means to an end; yes the recruit receives a scholarship for attending the school. (Kawakami, Tim) But what if the school is not the right fit either academically or geographically. The coach is also not giving the recruit a fair chance to make a decision on what school they want to attend. Recruiting problems troubling for NCAA) The coaches put unneeded pressure on a recruit to make a rash decision even if they are not ready at the time.
Coaches use there power of the free scholarship to there advantage making recruits commit giving themselves a leg up in the ever so competitive recruiting game. There are two types of commitments for student athletes. The first is the oral commitment that a coach and recruit have. This type of commitment is usually honored by coaches that are ethical in their judgments. Legally athletes are not bound to commit to a school if they have not signed a national letter of intent. NCAA1)It is legal to steal away another coaches recruits that are only committed orally. But based on the moral value of honesty it is not ethical, because players are being persuaded to leave an agreement based on falsified facts or situations for the most part.
How does the NCAA deal with recruiting violations? Violations in recruiting are investigated by NCAA officials. The Academic institution is informed as is the athletic departments. They have an opportunity to appeal or show that they have resolved the violation.This preliminary warning is known as the first violation. If the infraction is not resolved or a new one arises the same procedure will happen but the school will be issued its second violation. (NCAA Division I) After the second recruiting violation the school will be put on probation and has the possibility of having teams suspended depending upon the severity and amount of the violation. Currently two major football teams are under probation for wrongful recruiting practices.
They are University of Alabama and Florida International University.UCLA’s men’s basketball program was under investigation by the NCAA and put on three years probation for internal recruiting violations . If a school is on probation and has two or more violations within a five-year span then they can be served the highest level of punishment. (NCAA Student-Athlete Eligibility and Recruiting) The most extreme punishment the NCAA can pass on to a school is the Death Penalty. This penalty bans the team from competing in the NCAA for a certain number of years and cuts the structure of the team via coaches and scholarships allowed.After the team has been not competing for the allotted number of years, they will be put on probation. One of the few teams that violated NCAA recruiting regulations so harshly was Southern Methodist University.
Players on the team were receiving payments for attending and playing football for the school. The boosters along with coaches helped players get extra money through bank accounts. (NCAA1)This was the largest example of recruiting violations based off of players being paid to play. Recruiting problems troubling for NCAA) The NCAA banned the team from play till 1990 but because of cooperation from the University the NCAA allowed the team to hold practices in for the 1989 season but not compete. The reasoning behind banning SMU for five years of competing was to rebuild the program. The NCAA wants every program to follow its mission statement, by rebuilding the SMU team it made sure that the new team was unbiased and educated on all of the NCAA rules and regulations. (NCAA Death Penalty) Since the sanctioning of the 80’s SMU has not had a violation.
This shows that the NCAA policies work, the difference is instituting them across the board for other sports and athletic programs. If more school were held responsible for recruiting violations they would think twice about lying to a potential athlete. Being honest to the student athletes about their situation is based on the ethical idea of trust. By coaches lying off the back in the recruitment of and athlete the have broken that trust. Conclusion : To help combat the exploitation of athletes the NCAA could institute better potential athlete education.Informing athletes on what there rights are and when the can sign letters of intent gives them an advantage. These recruits will be educated on recruiting process and the ethical and moral values instituted by the NCAA.
When you put the decisions in the hands of the players they have more control over the situation. The NCAA believes in fairness, this would equal the power and influence coaches have over potential recruits. This gives players a better chance of being able to succeed and not be exploited by unethical coaches and their practices.A NCAA sponsored recruiting education would maximize the benefits schools bring athletes via scholarships academic, and life skills. Like everything there still would be exceptions but for the most part I think more athletes would be being helped.