“Yes, Coach” : the rhetoric of paternalism in collegiate athletics




Lever, Katie

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This project is an analysis of NCAA policy and college sports bills and laws that discuss the presence of paternalism at varying levels of athlete regulation and its impact on college athletes. Paternalism is widely understood as a management style in which supervisors unduly control their subordinates, allegedly for the benefit of those under their authority. NCAA policy and legislation aimed at college athletes often contain levels of paternalism that I argue are both unnecessary and harmful. Further, even policy that is designed to benefit athletes, such as name, image, and likeness legislation that grants college athletes economic freedoms they have been historically been denied, contains elements of paternalism that mirror more oppressive policies supported by the NCAA for the purpose of denying college athlete workplace rights. Throughout my analysis, I present three different types of paternalism that operate at different levels of college sports policy both within and outside of the NCAA: internal paternalism, external paternalism, and passive paternalism.


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