NCAA Exploits Women Athletes

As sports fans across the country are discovering, the Women’s College World Series is quite the show of athletic prowess. These college students swing for the fences, turn double plays, and make spectacular catches at the fence.

Any male hitter, even professional grade, might think twice about facing University of Washington pitcher Taran Alvelo or Samantha Show from the University of Oklahoma, who also swings a mean bat. Montana Fouts of the University of Alabama can also really swing it. The stands are packed out for every game, and ESPN is broadcasting the series. Sports fans tune in to see the players, but the the players are the only ones not getting paid.

The Women’s College World Series is a project of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Like their male counterparts in college football and basketball, the women get paid in kind, with a scholarship. This compensationis more of an injustice for the women because there is no women’s professional softball league where the women can go to test the market for their talent. And like the men, the women are forbidden from marketing their own name and image. If that is not exploitation, it’s hard to know what to call it.

Nobody tunes into ESPN to watch NCAA bosses or college bureaucrats. Sports fans tune in to see athletes showcase their talent. Female college athletes should be able to share in the enormous revenue they help generate. Meanwhile, some entrepreneur might look into the prospects of a professional women’s league. Based on the current college playoff, it’s a good bet that people would watch it.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.
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