Major College Basketball in the United States: Morality, Amateurism, and Hypocrisies

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Major College Basketball in the United States: Morality, Amateurism, and Hypocrisies

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and member institutions' presentation of major college basketball in the United States as an endeavor of amateurism is contradictory to the realities of college basketball. Discussed are the following amateurism related hypocrisies: a) requiring players to fully engage in formally structured basketball activities as a priority over education, b) expansion of the post season March Madness tournament regardless of the fact that players will miss more classes, c) compensating basketball coaches with salaries contingent on success defined by winning, and d) the athletic scholarship. Literature supports amateurism hypocrisies in major college basketball (Bermuda 2010, Colombo 2010, Sundram 2010). Understanding the effect of NCAA and member institution hypocritical behavior on determining the moral standing of major college basketball is discussed in the context of claims by Grant (1997), that Machiavelli recognized the necessity of political hypocrisy. A utilitarian analysis using Jeremy Bentham's holistic utilitarian approach calling for the agent to "sum up all the values of all the pleasures on the one side, and those of all the pains on the other" (p. 39) to determine the degree of morality, indicates a presence of morality in major college basketball. Under the premise that major college basketball is an extension of core values held by higher education, Aristotle's Golden Mean (Aristotle, 1941) is used to help identify a point of balanced moral perspective concerning sentiments of the sporting community held for the sport. The end goal is to maintain major college basketball's strong level of satisfaction among members of the sporting community, while controlling the false representation of amateurism surrounding it to preserve the moral and structural integrity of major college basketball.

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Physical Culture and Sport. Studies and Research

The Journal of Josef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw and International Society for the Social Sciences of Sport

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