March 30, 2018 - Vol. 1, Issue 26
The Madness of Student Athlete Compensation
Above, photograph of the Loyola Ramblers, including HistoryMaker and team captain Jerry Harkness, receiving the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship trophy in 1963. 1
Sidney Green
David Lattin
Napoleon Brandford, III
Tomorrow night, the Final Four matchups of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament will begin. Informally known as March Madness, the annual tournament accounts for the bulk of the NCAA’s annual revenue of $1 billion. 2,3 Chicago Bull Sidney Green played for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels in his college days, and went on to coach multiple Division I basketball teams. He recalled of the opportunity to play in March Madness: “You couldn’t put a price tag on the publicity that our school got worldwide…Our kids never fathomed playing before a CBS audience. It was their dream, and we were able to fulfill it for them. And the dollar value that we were able to bring the university!” 4 [Sidney Green, THMDA 1.6.10] .

Revenue aside, what about the cost to players? The predominantly white NCAA adheres to the principle of amateurism, 5 whereby student athletes are shielded from “the woes of professional sports,” 6 like so-called agent corruption. As a result, student athletes, who are majority African American and from low-income families, 7 receive zero compensation, no matter the value that their labor brings to the university. This system was placed in historical context by academics like Billy Hawkins, who wrote in The New Plantation: Black Athletes, College Sports, and Predominantly White NCAA Institutions : “The exploitation of the black body is not new to blacks’ experiences in this country for it has consistently provided revenue for the U.S. economy.”

The debate over Division I athlete compensation intensified in the past decade, when former UCLA Bruins player Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA. In 2010, O’Bannon’s class-action lawsuit was joined by David Lattin , who played on the Texas Western Miners 1966 team that became the first all-black starting lineup to win the NCAA title. Speaking to the injustice of the NCAA system, Lattin said: “If anybody would ever wonder why student athletes leave school early, it’s because they need the money. I’m sure they would stay longer if they could get paid…their parents wouldn’t have to struggle… The NCAA takes in billions of dollars, and so it would be nothing to pay the kids maybe thirty thousand a year… They earn the money. They work for it. They play every day; so why not pay them, instead of have them starve to death? They don’t want them to work. They don’t want them to do anything, so it’s unfair that they don’t share revenue with the youngsters.” 8 [David Lattin, THMDA 1.4.3] . In 2014, Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of O’Bannon, and ordered schools to provide student athletes with full cost-of-attendance scholarships including expenses, like travel, that the NCAA does not cover. However, Wilken’s order that schools place $5,000 into a trust for each athlete per year was reversed after the NCAA appealed in 2015. 9

Integral to the debate are conflicting attitudes about the role of higher education. Some maintain that a college degree is preferable to achieving professional athletic status; others argue that athletes should be able to join organizations like the NBA immediately after high school. Wall Street executive Napoleon Brandford, III played on the Roosevelt High School Rough Riders state championship team in 1970. Addressing the dangers of foregoing higher education, he said: “They like for us to entertain, but they don’t like for you to own. And that’s one of the difficulties for these kids coming out school without an education: you need a foundation to prepare yourself to own.” 10 [Napoleon Brandford, III, THMDA 1.6.3].
For our subscribing institutions, check out our curated playlist of stories that accompanies the above feature. To do so, copy and paste the below URL to the tail end of your university’s specific URL for The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. For example: [Your Institution URL] + [Playlist Tail]

Playlist Tail: stories/6;IDList=536035%2C613488%2C626860%2C269946%2C65533%2C64393%2C64392%2C91007%2C91006%2C91221%2C614243%2C614242%2C614240%2C614239%2C614237%2C614236%2C614234%2C614233%2C626894%2C626893%2C626892;ListTitle=NCAA%20Basketball%20Highlights

The HistoryMakers Remembers
Dr. Ralph Alexander Gardner-Chavis
The HistoryMakers is saddened by the loss of chemist Dr. Ralph Alexander Gardner-Chavis , who passed away at the age of ninety-five on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. In the early 1940s, he worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. He went on to serve as a long-term faculty member of the chemistry department at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.

In his interview with The HistoryMakers on March 19, 2004, Dr. Gardner-Chavis recited one of his poems that he wrote in the 1970s: “Brothers killing brothers make an evil white man glad/ He makes the sentence light when you kill a black man/ To keep black life cheap is his well laid master plan/ He puts you in the trick bag because he games with your mind/ You can’t see in the mirror--your hate has made you blind/ To see you’ve killed yourself every time you kill a brother, which takes away all hope, so you go kill another/ So you do what he wants because he’s hurt you so bad/ Brothers killing brothers make a racist white man glad." 11 [Ralph Gardner-Chavis, THMDA 1.6.6].
Please share with us your stories of how you incorporate The HistoryMakers Digital Archive into your curriculum and research. We'd love to hear from you!

This week, 18 new interviews were added to The HistoryMakers Digital Archive:
H. Mitsy Wilson

Diversity specialist H. Mitsy Wilson (1950 - ) was a founding partner of ForAfrica and worked in diversity management for over twenty-five years. She became the Fox Entertainment Group’s first senior vice president of diversity development in 2000.
Emma Rodgers

Store owner Emma Rodgers (1944 - ) opened Black Images Book Bazaar in 1977, which went on to serve the community of Dallas, Texas for thirty years.
Sandra Miller Jones

Marketing chief executive Sandra Miller Jones (1946 - ) was the founder and CEO of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.
The Honorable Dwight Bush, Sr.

Bank executive The Honorable Dwight Bush, Sr. (1957 - ) was the first African American managing director at Chase Manhattan Bank. He served as vice president of corporate development at Sallie Mae, president and CEO of the Urban Trust Bank, and president of D.L. Bush & Associates. He was named U.S. Ambassador to Morocco in 2014.
Carrie Mae Weems

Photographer and visual artist Carrie Mae Weems (1953 - ) was an award-winning folkloric artist represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago.
Bill T. Jones

Dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones (1952 - ) cofounded the American Dance Asylum and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He also served as executive artistic director of New York Live Arts.
Jerry Rushin

Radio station manager Jerry Rushin (1947 - ) became the general manager of WEDR Radio in Miami, Florida in 1980. He later served as the vice president and market manager for the Cox Media Group’s South Florida radio stations.
Tai Beauchamp

Journalist and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp (1978 - ) was the style ambassador of InStyle magazine and the CEO of Tai Life Media, LLC. She became the youngest and first African American beauty and fitness director at Seventeen magazine in 2004.

Cedric The Entertainer

Film actor and comedian Cedric The Entertainer (1964 - ) was one of the original Kings of Comedy. He starred in the television sitcom ‘The Steve Harvey Show’ and the ‘Barbershop’ film franchise.
Jacquelyn E. Stone

Lawyer Jacquelyn E. Stone (1958 - ) specialized in business immigration law and global private client law at McGuireWoods LLP, where she worked for over thirty years.
The Honorable Edna Jackson

Mayor The Honorable Edna Jackson (1944 - ) was elected mayor of Savannah, Georgia in 2014. She held numerous positions at Savannah State University from 1971 to 2001, and served as a Savannah City Council member and as Mayor Pro Tempore of Savannah.
George Keith Martin

Lawyer George Keith Martin (1953 - ) was a partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP, and was the University of Virginia's first African American rector.
Angela Vallot

Lawyer and corporate chief executive Angela Vallot (1956 - ) served on President Bill Clinton’s presidential transition team in 1992, and as the first chief diversity officer at Texaco, Inc. She founded VallotKarp Consulting in 2003.
Andre Walker

Personal care entrepreneur Andre Walker (1956 - ) was Oprah Winfrey's personal hairstylist for over thirty years.

Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.

Orthopedic surgeon, chemical engineer, and astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. (1965 - ) was a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission.

Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter

Pastor and author Reverend Dr. Millicent Hunter (1950 - ) was the founder and senior pastor of the Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also served as the presiding bishop of the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches.

Hank Dixon

Singer Hank Dixon (1939 - ) was a member of The Originals, who signed with Motown Records in 1966.

Penelope Stewart

Community resource specialist Penelope Stewart (1955 - ) oversaw the Marrow Donor Program at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
1. BANNER PHOTO: Team members of the Loyola Ramblers receive the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship trophy, 1963. Accessed March 30, 2018. .
2. Billy Hawkins, The New Plantation: Black Athletes, College Sports, and Predominantly White NCAA Institutions. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
3. Rovell, Darren. "NCAA Tops $1 Billion in Revenue during 2016-17 School Year." ESPN. March 07, 2018. Accessed March 30, 2018. .
4. Sidney Green (The HistoryMakers A2012.115), interviewed by Larry Crowe, April 18, 2012, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Session 1, tape 6, story 10, Sidney Green describes his coaching experiences at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, pt. 2
5. NCAA definition of Amateurism. Accessed March 30, 2018. .
6. James W. Satterfield and J. Christopher Croft, “The Athletic Casting Call: Factors Contributing to the Social Construction of the Black Male College Athlete” in Black Males and Intercollegiate Athletics: An Exploration of Problems and Solutions . Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015.
7. Gary A. Sailes, “Betting Against the Odds: An Overview of Black Sports Participation,” in African Americans in Sports (Contemporary Themes) . Routledge, 1998.
8. David Lattin (The HistoryMakers A2010.016), interviewed by Denise Gines, May 11, 2010, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Session 1, tape 4, story 3, David Lattin shares his opinion on student athletes' compensation
9. Ed O’Bannon, Michael McCann , Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA. Diversion Books, 2018.
10. Napoleon Brandford, III (The HistoryMakers A2003.167), interviewed by Julieanna L. Richardson, July 24, 2003, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Session 1, tape 6, story 3, Napoleon Brandford talks about the importance of an education for athletes
11. Ralph Gardner-Chavis (The HistoryMakers A2004.030), interviewed by Regennia Williams, March 19, 2004, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Session 1, tape 6, story 6, Ralph Gardner-Chavis recites one of his poems
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