Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Mr. Tom Martin

Second Advisor

Dr. Tina Keller

Third Advisor

Mr. Tyler Custis


Olympic model, NCAA, Student-athlete, Amateurism


In this paper, I review the immense commercialization of collegiate athletics and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) strict adherence to its principle of amateurism. With legal attention regarding antitrust infringement and illegal activity in recruiting practices, the NCAA and its member institutions face increasing challenges to their operations which were originated for an activity that is a minor semblance of its current state. As a whole, collegiate athletics have evolved into a billion-dollar industry, yet the form of compensation for the individuals generating the demand has remained stagnant. To address this discrepancy, I determine fair market value calculations utilizing financial reports from university athletic departments and corresponding professional revenue-sharing agreements to discern the value of a student-athlete’s participation. My paper delves into the potential resolutions the NCAA may consider, and the subsequent issues that implementation may provoke. Specifically, I analyze the Olympic model and its ability to move toward fair student-athlete compensation while retaining the NCAA’s purpose.



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