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Neither Reasonable nor Necessary: “Amateurism” in Big-Time College Sports


  • Daniel, Rascher
  • Andrew, Schwarz


The NCAA and its member schools are a joint venture that fixes the compensation of its most important workers, the athletes, at a level that is substantially below what would otherwise occur in a competitive market. Claims of amateurism and the need for competitive balance obscure the more than $3.5 billion dollars in revenue generated mostly on the backs of those athletes. From the point of view of rule of reason antitrust analysis, the NCAA’s justification for its concerted wage fixing has obvious weaknesses. Recent phenomenal growth in revenue has made the claims of the necessity and reasonableness of concerted action to restrain wages increasingly dubious.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel, Rascher & Andrew, Schwarz, 2000. "Neither Reasonable nor Necessary: “Amateurism” in Big-Time College Sports," MPRA Paper 25833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25833

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Walter C. Neale, 1964. "The Peculiar Economics of Professional Sports," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-14.
    2. Bruce R. Domazlicky & Peter M. Kerr, 1990. "Baseball Attendance and the Designated Hitter," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 34(1), pages 62-68, March.
    3. Daniel Rascher, 1997. "A model of a professional sports league," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 3(3), pages 327-328, August.
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:3:y:1997:i:3:p:327-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jennett, Nicholas I, 1984. "Attendances, Uncertainty of Outcome and Policy in Scottish League Football," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 31(2), pages 176-198, June.
    6. Glenn Knowles & Keith Sherony & Mike Haupert, 1992. "The Demand for Major League Baseball: A Test of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 36(2), pages 72-80, October.
    7. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1988. "Outcome Uncertainty and the Demand for Football: An Analysis of Match Attendances in the English Football League," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 242-249, August.
    8. Peter J. Sloane, 2000. "The Regulation of Professional Team Sports," IASE Conference Papers 0003, International Association of Sports Economists.
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    More about this item


    amateurism; monopoly; cartel; NCAA; college sports; competitive balance; collusion;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law


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