This thesis examines the ongoing debate/discussion surrounding the compensation of NCAA student-athletes. While some athletes receive full academic scholarships in addition to other perks that non-athletes might not receive, this makes one wonder if the compensation programs and protocols in place are fair, particularly considering the large sums of money athletes generate for their respective universities. Through lengthy interviews with two former Division I athletes, an associate athletic director at a major university, and a journalist who has covered this polarizing topic since some of its earliest milestones, we have covered both sides of this debate in the hope that the audience can take that information and form their own, thoughtful opinions. In addition to the interviews conducted during the process of writing this paper, we also conducted an extensive literature review of some of the most in-depth stories about the major milestones in the history of this discussion. While there may not be an amicable solution, knowledge and information constitutes the most powerful element that seems to largely be missing, often replaced by emotion. We seek to contribute to the solution by showing the human side of the debate and laying out exactly what is at stake before offering what we think, after this entire process, could be the answer. The issue is explored in more depth with supplemental podcasts submitted to Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.
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