Racial Segregation at its Finest

By Dr. Boyce Watkins, BASN Contributor
Updated: December 11, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — If you were to go to most college campuses around the country and ask them to make an investment in students or faculty, their excuses would start with the economy.

They would drone on and on about how little wiggle room they have to make financial investments, primarily because the economic downturn has strained their finances beyond measure.

If you are one of the thousands of black families sending your son or daughter to the NCAA to build their multi-billion dollar coffers, they would tell you that paying the athletes or their families is simply impossible.

They would convince you that in spite of the fact that the athletes and their families are the most important part of their revenue-generating process, universities simply cannot afford to share their money.

Even if you are homeless and your child can’t buy groceries, you must stand to the side as others earn millions from your child’s athletic labor.

If you are one of the NCAA coaches, most of whom are white, asking for millions in bonuses and contract incentives, the bank stays open all night. Consider Chip Kelly, coach of the No. 1-ranked Oregon Ducks.

After defeating Oregon State this weekend, Kelly secured an additional $4.3 million in bonuses and contract guarantees. He is also set to receive an additional $250,000 if he can find a way to win a national championship.

Although his players are the ones risking life and limb to obtain these massive bonuses for Kelly, they and their families must remain satisfied with their impoverished conditions.

Kelly is not the only coach benefiting from the riches of the closet professional sports league also known as the NCAA. Auburn’s Gene Chizik got $200,000 for winning the SEC Championship and will receive another $500,000 if he wins a national title.

All of this would be on the back of Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, his superstar black quarterback whose family is under investigation for allegedly requesting a measly $180,000 for his services.

The same way it was once illegal for slaves to learn to read, it remains illegal for college athletes (most of whom are black) to ask for the same labor rights enjoyed by their coaches (most of whom are white).

Yes folks, NCAA athletics is racial segregation at its finest.

Kelly has a six-year contract guaranteeing him $20.5 million. All the while, his pay raise was granted when the school was experiencing significant budgetary shortfalls.

Union workers with the school have been forced to take voluntary furloughs and the president of the university agreed to endure a pay cut. But while the university and its employees are struggling along, the coach enjoys riches beyond his wildest dreams.

The sweatshop known as collegiate athletics has become an abomination of everything that resembles academic integrity.