Does the NCAA Exploit College Athletes?1

  • Richard B. McKenzie
  • Gordon Tullock


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is under increasing attack for its rules governing the recruitment and retention of athletes. Few inside or outside colleges and universities seem to be satisfied with the NCAA’s rules, criticizing the NCAA for being both too strict and too lenient in the rules it makes and enforces. And cheating on NCAA rules appears to be widespread, if not rampant, as evidenced by the number and prestige of colleges and universities that have been penalized for rule infractions in recent years. Most recently, in mid-2011, an athletic supporter of the University of Miami revealed that he had provided substantial aid and gifts to as many as 72 former University of Miami football players, causing the launch of an NCAA investigation of wronging on the campus that if the revelations of cheating are supported could result in the “death penalty” for the university, which means that the school has to abandon football for some yet-to-be-determined years.2 The University of Southern California was hit in 2010 with multiple penalties (including the loss of bowl game opportunities for 2010 and 2011 and the loss of thirty scholarships) for, among other violations of NCAA rules, making payments of cash and a car to its star running back Reggie Bush (who ultimately won the Heisman Trophy) and for providing his parents with a house.3


National Collegiate Athletic Association College Athletic Cartel Theory College Sport Legal Barrier 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard B. McKenzie
    • 1
  • Gordon Tullock
    • 2
  1. 1.Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Law & Economics CenterGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA

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