Colleges use their athletic programs to lure students to their campuses. However, they purposely target athletes from poor communities that can't afford education. They promise a free education, but this gift comes with a sinister repercussion.
Students who accept money or gifts are not considered amateurs by the NCAA, and this disqualifies them from competing and receiving scholarship money. Their likenesses, however, can be used any way the schools and NCAA see fit. Between 2005 and 2019, colleges made approximately $1.2 to $1.4 billion off these students.
Black students make up 60% of all the football and basketball rosters across college sports but only about 11% of any other sport. Though coaches and administrators make millions, the bulk of the cash Black athletes bring in goes to predominantly white sports teams that don't contribute financially, like tennis, sailing, and crew.
With college football’s continued expansion, the financial weight of college sports rests predominantly on the back of Black students. They work incredibly hard and, in some cases, are still in abject poverty while playing under the NCAA. The bottom line? Slavery and sharecropping have been rebranded as student athletics.