September 2023

If You can Afford to Send a Private Jet for the Coach, You Can Afford to Pay A Recruit 5k

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Welcome to the the Hypocrisy Bogeyman

The concept of hypocrisy covering exploitation often lurks in the shadows of various industries, creating a complex web of perception and reality. Recently the Ohio State University Athletic Director Eugene D. Smith claimed in written testimony "A practice of asking a school for a fee to simply visit campus has emerged; asking for $5,000 just to visit has become common."

Schools routinely pull out the red carpet when recruiting coaches including private jets and other lavish amenities, what's wrong with student athletes asking for compensation?

The entities vilifying a practice are often capitalizing on identical behavior. Drug lord = bad, pharmaceutical company = good?

One prime example of this hypocrisy is the stark difference in how society views drug kingpins versus pharmaceutical companies. While one is depicted as a ruthless criminal, the other, despite being responsible for countless addiction cases, is protected by legal frameworks. The common denominator? Both exploit vulnerabilities for profit, both kill people, the only difference is how they go about it.

Oftentimes the argument is about illegal criminal activities harming people, families, communities, the violence, and the exploitation of addiction. An argument could be made by both that the other is worse, but one gets a pass.

The same applies to gambling

Illegal gambling operations are swiftly condemned, labeled as dens of vice and criminal activity. However, their legal counterparts, from casinos to online betting platforms, essentially engage in the same activity under regulated conditions. The thin line between legality and illegality highlights how exploitation can be both condemned and sanctioned based on societal norms.

related: The Uneven Odds of Player Suspensions and League Gambling Alliances

If gambling exploits and addiction are harms in need of protection, shouldn't legalized gambling eliminate it?

The NCAA wants to protect the sanctity of amateurism

related: What is Amateurism?

Nowhere is the hypocrisy more apparent than in collegiate athletics, with the NCAA standing as a prime example. The organization staunchly defends the amateur status of student-athletes, emphasizing the purity of sportsmanship. Yet, this narrative clashes with the billions of dollars in revenue generated, often at the expense of these very athletes.

While the NCAA upholds the notion of amateurism with fervor, a closer examination reveals a stark double standard.

Recruits requesting $5,000 for a visit are met with complaints yet athletic directors have no problem sending private jets to fetch coaches.

This glaring contradiction dismantles the façade of amateurism, exposing it as a carefully constructed red herring. It prompts a critical reevaluation of the purported principles that underpin collegiate athletics, and raises questions about the true motivations at play within the NCAA.

The moral of the story, know the game and play it well. These are lessons of billion dollar industries, and understanding the game is valuable for success in business.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa has founded multiple ventures, is an author, and founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, with over a decade of experience in tech and law.

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