Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: College Athletes, Unite

By Carla Murphy Nov 12, 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar continues to speak up for college athletes’ rights. The sports great has been vocal about college athletes unionizing in the face of exploitation by the NCAA. His latest article in socialist publication Jacobin speaks at length about the underside of his championship-winning tenure at UCLA in the late 1960s:

The worst part is that nothing much has changed since my experience as a college athlete almost forty years ago. Well, one thing has changed: the NCAA, television broadcasters, and the colleges and universities are making a lot more money.

  • The NCAA rakes in nearly $1 billion annually from its March Madness contract with CBS and Turner Broadcasting.
  • The NCAA president made $1.7 million in 2012.
  • The ten highest paid coaches in this year’s March Madness earnbetween $2,627,806 and $9,682,032….

Life for student-athletes is…big business in which everyone is making money — everyone except the eighteen to twenty-one-year-old kids who every game risk permanent career-ending injuries.

Read the rest at Jacobin Magazine.