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A Call to Stop the Exploitation of National College Athletes

WHEREAS, billions of dollars are made from marketing, merchandise, television deals and through sports venues every year; and

WHEREAS, many college coaches of division-one programs receive salaries ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions every year, which in many cases is a higher salary than the school president receives; and

WHEREAS, the athletes whose performances and likenesses are the sole products of the National College Athletic Association ("NCAA") and its partner universities for increasingly massive amounts of revenue; and 

WHEREAS, no NCAA partnered university nor the NCAA itself engages in any form of legal direct financial payment or revenue sharing program with the athletes who generate the vast majority of all money made by the NCAA and its partnered universities; and

WHEREAS, the NCAA claims that the students are fairly compensated by receiving scholarships to attend the school as full-time students, but in numerous cases the athletes receive a far inferior education than their student peers do; and

WHEREAS, athletes are treated like and expected to perform as professionals in the sport that they participate in and are subject to massive public and institutional scrutiny that also puts them on par with paid athletes in professional sports entertainment leagues; and

WHEREAS, even a perfectly administered scholarship would constitute a paltry sum when its value is compared to the immense immediate financial value generated by the individual athletes every year that they perform and for all time as their legacy continues to generate renown and value for the institutions they attended; and

WHEREAS, the NCAA maintains that athletes are not like employees while they continue to sell licensing for the athletes likenesses to television, internet media, and video game companies for profit as a professional sports entertainment league would; and

WHEREAS, these problems are systemic and appear prominently in NCAA football and its Bowl season activities along with other less revenue-generating sports where no financial incentive or compensation is given directly to the athletes or their families;  and

WHEREAS, a recent study conducted by the National College Players Association (NCPA) found that, due to the NCAA's policy that universities are not allowed to give athletic scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance, student-athletes are left with an average of $2,951 per year of unaccounted for expenses, many student-athletes cannot afford without unsanctioned financial gifts or payments due to their lack of time to commit to a paying job and common lack of a family's ability to financially support the student-athlete.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its earlier resolutions of 1974, 1987 and 2000 expressing its concern with the exploitation of African American student athletes and the impact on their families, the need to ensure that adequate academic resources are provided to each athlete to ensure graduation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate for the NCAA to immediately conduct a study, which shall be made public, on the implications on athletes if all restrictions on the athlete's financial gains and rights to transfer schools were to be removed; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP demand the NCAA revise their policy to ensure adequate financial support for student athletes to ensure complete payment of their academic and living expenses so long as they remain enrolled in their respective institutions.

Together Power Vote Hero - NAACP

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