Arguing Cause Structure Notes Livia

Organizational Structure A: Multiple Causes

I. Introduce the issue and state your claim.
Problem: Student-athletes of Division 1 schools are being exploited; Should they be paid for their "work"?

  • "Paper classes" - classes that involve little or no academic effort; designed to ensure that athletes maintained eligibility to play sports (North Carolina scandal); diminishes the value of the athlete's education
  • Northwestern University football (unionize case) - definition of exploitation: "a worker is exploited if the wage the worker received is less than their economic contribution to the firm; in terms of college sports, n athlete is "exploited" if the athlete generates more revenue than he/she is paid in terms of his/her scholarship and housing at the school
  • Northwestern University (private college) football program unionized: Northwestern raised an estimated $30 million for its football program in 2013 - $22 million went to expenses for the program, the coach (Pat Fitzgerald) earned more than $2.2 million with a potential $2.5 million in loan forgiveness if he remained at the school (highest paid employee at Northwestern)
  • Alabama's football coach, Nick Saban, earned $5.4 million in the year of 2013, higher than many NFL head coaches
  • Athletic directors get a big paycheck as well; the top nine highest paid college athletic directors earned more than $1 million each
  • Athletes are seemingly used as tools for both future athletes and regular students, to sell apparel in bookstores, and tickets to games; taken advantage of since the bulk of their "free" time is spent training and competing rather than studying or being a "normal" college student
  • The NCAA (non-profit education organization with 270 employees) has an annual budget of $32 million. Each year it distributes over $500 million to its member schools; all of the money is collected from revenue generated by D1 men's basketball and football, specifically the television rights to men's college basketball's March Madness and football's Bowl Championship Series. In 2012, the NCAA signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS and Turner Sports to have the exclusive rights to show the men's college basketball tournament
  • Many times athletes are put into either easier courses of courses whose professors are known to like student-athletes so athletes are able to achieve and receive higher grades to remain eligible to play - students are being exploited by schools because the schools are profiting from the student's efforts while the student is receiving nothing of lasting significance

State your claim. Deal with counterargument — readers that don't see this as a problem

II. State the causes of this problem and support your analysis.
Describe the first possible cause or consequence and explain your reasoning.
Continue with the rest of your causes or consequences.
Arrange causes or consequences in increasing order of importance or significance.

III. Respond to possible objections to your argument.
Anticipate and summarize possible objections.
Respond through rebuttal, concession, or the concession and refutation format (this is true for x, but it is wrong to think this because y)

IV. Conclude.

Sum up your argument.
Provide a clear description of what's at stake.
End with something memorable.


Contributing factors:
Students have little power to negotiate
Schools are making a lot of money — might want to find out how much
schools feel they need to use the successful athletic programs to recruit new students and solicit alumni donations
One and done: NCAA/NBA rule? where did this rule come from? what is the rationale for it? Who is benefitting from it?

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