The New York Times columnist and bestselling coauthor of All The Devils Are Here offers a fresh analysis of what’s really wrong with the NCAA, and the legal push to bring down this morally corrupt and hypocritical organization.
For more than half a century, the NCAA has been one of the most powerful, and impregnable, institutions in America, a cartel that acted to prevent the athletes from receiving any money from their labors, while enriching everyone else involved in college sports. The athletes had signed up for indentured servitude to chase their dreams of pro glory, with the NCAA as their overlords. Wrapping itself in the mantle of “amateurism,” the NCAA was ruthless in its application of its rules that prevented players from receiving anything for their talents aside from their scholarships. A scholarship that didn’t necessarily guarantee an education or a diploma.
But in 2000, three West Coast economists decided to take on this cartel, and laid the groundwork for a major lawsuit. At around the same time, a former UCLA football player named Ramogi Huma began an organization to help and represent college athletes. A college quarterback decided to try to unionize his team. And a former sneaker marketer, Sonny Vaccaro, who was the first to pay college coaches to get their teams to wear his sneakers, quit his job and began to crusade against the NCAA.
Indentured is the story of how this small band of renegades, working sometimes in concert and sometimes alone, took on the NCAA, nearly bringing it to its knees. Download and start listening now!