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Special – 1980 – HBO Inside Sports With Barry Tompkins Takes A Look At The NCAA Student Athlete

A subject that has been covered in specials and commentary throughout the years…..which was discussed by HBO’s Barry Tompkins and Larry Merchant in this 1980 episode of Inside Sports ….and is still today discussed by many sports pundits and other potential Sportsphiles…..has been the at the core of “What is truly Amatuer Sports?”…..and how it relates to the governing body of the NCAA. 

Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration….with the distinction being made between amateur sporting participants and professional sporting participants….who are paid for the time they spend competing and training. In the majority of sports which feature professional players…..where the professionals will participate at a higher standard of play than amateur competitors….as they can train full-time without the stress of having another job…..which makes the majority of worldwide sporting participants are amateurs.

Sporting amateurism was a zealously guarded ideal in the 19th century….especially among the upper classes….but this concept has faced steady erosion throughout the 20th century with the continuing growth of pro sports and monetization of amateur and collegiate sports….and is now strictly held as an ideal by fewer and fewer organisations governing sports, even as they maintain the word “amateur” in their titles.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences…..as it also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada….and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes….who compete annually in college sports. 

In the 2019 world of NCAA football and basketball programs…..the individual schools  bring in so much money through their NCAA programs…..which also require that their student athletes apply much more time and energy in the pursuit of their amateur sport…..that many many fans, school alums, athletic directors, coaches and athletes believe that they should be compensated well for what they do which brings in so much revenue to their school….which is what this video is all about….albeit was right at 40 years ago that this program aired….and the issues have yet to be resolved….which just shows that no matter how much time passes….many things just don’t change much.

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