Latest Sports Scores

Scoreboard

  • ALL
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • NCAAB
  • NBA
  • Live
    MIN87
    IND90
  • Live
    MIL100
    CHA83
  • Live
    MIA56
    DET52
  • Live
    PHO44
    ATL47
  • Live
    PHI62
    BKN59
  • Live
    GS53
    HOU38
  • 3/28 10:00 PM EDT
    DEN0
    POR0
  • 3/28 10:30 PM EDT
    WAS0
    LAL0
  • NHL
  • Live
    WPG2
    NJ3
  • Live
    BUF1
    CBJ2
  • Live
    NSH0
    BOS2
  • Live
    DET0
    CAR3
  • Live
    OTT1
    PHI1
  • Live
    DAL1
    MTL0
  • Live
    FLA0
    TOR2
  • Live
    WSH1
    MIN0
  • 3/28 9:00 PM EDT
    LA0
    EDM0
  • 3/28 10:00 PM EDT
    ANA0
    VAN0
  • 3/28 10:30 PM EDT
    NYR0
    SJ0
  • CBK
  • Live
    CS-BK57
    GATECH74
  • 3/28 9:00 PM EDT
    TCU0
    UCF0

NCAA begins making its case for amateurism

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
1 PHOTOS
NCAA lawsuit
See Gallery
NCAA begins making its case for amateurism
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


By Tim Dahlberg

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The NCAA began making its case for keeping the current model for college sports, with the women's athletic director at the University of Texas testifying Tuesday that paying basketball and football players would tear apart the very foundation the school's athletics are based upon.

Christine Plonsky said she couldn't imagine a scenario where some of her university's athletes were able to make money from their appearances in televised games, at the same time hundreds of athletes in other sports only get tuition and room and board for their efforts.

"I don't believe that our university would approve of an activity where a segment of our student-athlete population was professionalized," Plonsky said. "I know we strongly believe our student-athletes should not be professionalized in any way."

Taking the stand after six days of witnesses called by plaintiffs in the antitrust trial brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon and others, Plonsky said Texas regards athletes as students first, even for those in the high profile football and basketball programs that bring in tens of millions of dollars a year.

"They are students and they compete on teams. Students do a variety of things on campuses like UT and others," she said, adding later: "The progress toward a degree is emphasized as much as excellence on the playing field."

Plonsky's testimony came after a Drexel University professor and author of a book on the influence of money on college sports gave the opposite viewpoint on the stand, saying the NCAA's contention that athletes in big money sports are students first is self-serving and designed only to perpetuate a myth of amateurism.

"The NCAA makes the assertion there can be this large college sport enterprise which can be run professionally and engender commercial interest and that can be professional, but the participating cannot," Ellen Staurowsky said. "That hinges on whether athletes are students first or second. The emphasis is really on their role as an athlete, secondarily the student role."

Staurowsky said there is a big difference between how the NCAA defines amateurism and what amateurism really is. She said that the organization's definition of amateurism has shifted over recent years as billions of dollars have been poured into college sports.

"The NCAA is not expressly opposed to pay, but opposed to pay under terms and conditions they do not allow," Staurowsky said.

The testimony came as the trial that could fundamentally change the way big college sports are operated neared its midpoint in federal court. O'Bannon and 19 other plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would allow players to band together to sell the rights to their names, images and likenesses (NILs) for use on television broadcasts and in video games.

NCAA President Mark Emmert is expected to testify beginning Thursday in a widely watched case that is already credited with pushing the five major college conferences toward paying athletes more money and offering them better benefits.

Plonsky said Texas - which would be one of the schools offering athletes more money under the plan for the biggest five conferences to increase benefits - would almost surely draw the line at paying football and basketball players a portion of its broadcast revenue for the rights to their NILs.

Asked what would happen if Texas refused to pay while others did, she said the entire college athletic environment could change.

"I don't believe institutions could continue to function in the same manner that they do today with that decision," Plonsky said.

Under cross examination, Plonsky acknowledged that Texas pays its coaches millions of dollars and that only 3 percent of the $165 million in revenue brought in by the university's athletic programs last year went to pay for athletic scholarships.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners