February 27, 2020 8:01 pm

Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson and StarTalk Sports Edition Tackle College Athletic Pay

College athletics are engrained into the American sporting culture. The romanticism of representing your school, the magic of a Cinderella story, and the thrill of watching college kids win championships has long been a favorite past-time. However, it’s become apparent that it’s well past due that players for these powerhouse teams should be getting a slice of the pie.

Keenan Hairston’s Photo of Zion Williamson.

Zion Williamson. Photo Credit: Keenan Hairston from Raleigh / CC BY-SA.

On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice are looking at the inner-workings of college athletics to see if a pay day for the athletes is on the horizon or still a long way off. In the first segment, our trio is joined by Ellen Staurowsky, Ed.D., professor of Sports Management at Drexel University. She is also co-author of the book College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA Amateur Myth.

Ellen tells us why the value of athletes is far greater than what people understand. We discuss the “fallacy of amateurism.” You’ll learn how the rise of social media and influencer culture has impacted how people view athletes and how athletes can monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Find out more about the push back from the NCAA on athletes getting paid. We investigate California’s “Fair Pay to Play Act” that will allow athletes to profit off endorsements and NIL. We also debate what this law means for other states.

Then, Andrew Zimbalist, PhD, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College, co-author of Unwinding Madness: What Went Wrong with College Sports and How to Fix It, and author of 28 books including Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-time College Sports, joins the gang to give his thoughts on the state of college athletics. Andrew tells us why collective bargaining is pretty much off the table for most big program schools. Lastly, we ask: who will ultimately come out on top? All that, plus, in our last segment Neil and Chuck gives us their final thoughts on the future of college sports.

You can find Show Me the Money: Is it College Athlete Payday? right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen

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