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29 Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport 30 (2019)


Under the amateur/education model, the amount of funding that colleges and universities can provide to their student-athletes is limited to the athletes' cost of attending their institution. This model makes sense for most college sports, but National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Division I men's basketball tend to generate almost all the revenue to fund their institution's entire athletic programs-as well as a substantial percentage of the revenues received by the NCAA. Furthermore is the realization that a majority of the elite athletes in these two revenue-generating sports are black. As revenues generated by these sports have escalated, a contentious debate has raged for more than 30 years about the potential racial exploitation of the application of the amateur/education model to these two sports. Both sides of this debate tend to perceive the issue of racial exploitation in terms of dividing the revenues between the athletes or the NCAA and its member institutions. Institutions either receive more of the funds to use as they see fit, or more revenues are provided to the athletes probably at the expense of the amateur/education model. This article seeks to reformulate this debate by concentrating on the interests of the entire Black Community, not just those of elite black male athletes. By examining the Black Community's perspective, potential solutions to the enduring dilemma of racial exploitation emerge. To counteract the charge that the amateur/education model is potentially racially exploitive, the NCAA and its member institutions might institute and fund massive programs that increase college attendance and graduation rates for the entire Black Community. Admittedly, these programs would necessarily be tailored in a manner that does not run afoul of the current interpretations of antidiscrimination laws, but that is possible.