Duck coach Dana Altman grants player release from indentured servitude

According to Wikipedia, indentured servitude has been illegal in the US for quite a while:

… Several Acts passed by the American and British governments helped foster the decline of indentures. The Passenger Vessels Act 1803, an Act of the UK Parliament which regulated travel conditions aboard ships, attempted to make transportation more expensive so as to hinder landlords’ tenants seeking a better life. The American abolition of imprisonment of debtors by federal law (passed in 1833) made prosecution of runaway servants more difficult, increasing the risk of indenture contract purchases. The 13th Amendment passed in the wake of the American Civil War made indentured servitude illegal in the United States.

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

It seems the NCAA has an exemption to the 13th, but fortunately for Mr. Bigby-Williams, Coach Altman wants his scholarship for another student-athlete and he is now free to leave UO:

Kavell Bigby-Williams, one of the final pieces remaining of a Final Four Oregon squad has requested and has been granted his transfer from the University of Oregon. It is not known if Bigby-Williams is going to leave, but the release allows him to weigh his options for next season. According to the University of Oregon, Head Coach Dana Altman is recruiting the rest of this week and is looking to meet with Bigby-Williams early next week.

While I’m no economist, it’s fascinating to see that the British ruling class was using the same sort of labor cartel practices in 1803 as the NCAA is using today: make it as difficult as possible for your workers to move to better opportunities so you can keep the profits from their labor for yourself.

Or, as Abraham Lincoln said of people like Dana Altman,

“It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.”

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Duck coach Dana Altman grants player release from indentured servitude

  1. Eugenenative says:

    You trivialize the struggles of real indentured servants by equating their plight to privileged scholarship student athletes, who are free to walk away from their supposed exploitation to freedom at any time.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
    • Fishwrapper says:

      I, respectfully, partially disagree. Yes, comparing today’s basketball-playing student athletes with indentured servant of the past is a bit of a stretch, and culturally insensitive in many ways. And yet, for many of these “privileged scholarship student athletes” the situation is not simply one of walking away to freedom as you so blithely put it. Many of the student athletes across Div. I schools are here not as students, but as athletes than can be identified as students in order to keep the NCAA’s quite profitable entertainment cartel churning out exciting games that people pay big bucks to broadcast.

      Yes, many student athletes are able to use the path of the their athleticism to advance their personal lives in ways that would otherwise be unavailable to them, and this is good. But the stain and shame of athletic programs that put the programs over the people is far too large to ignore. Far too many young people are sold a dream of success through the locker rooms, then hand-held through the corridors of academe, and end up broken souls at the end of their eligibility. Sorry, kid, but we’re done with you Good luck.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
      • Eugenenative says:

        Then find a better analogy.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        • Fishwrapper says:

          It’s a valid analogy. A valid, ham-handed, insensitive analogy — but it works.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
          • eugenenative says:

            It’s a poor analogy that obscures rather than illuminates.

            VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
  2. Eddie says:

    Pretty shallow with the servitude nonsense. You’re smarter than this.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  3. jonson says:

    C’mon. This isn’t even worthy of being called a cheap shot. I know you hate Altman, but this is silly.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  4. UO Matters says:

    The New Republic had a very good piece on this in 2014: https://newrepublic.com/article/120071/ncaa-college-sports-arent-slavery-theyre-jim-crow

    The start:

    Usually the inventor knows his creation best. Walter Byers, who became the first executive director of the NCAA in 1951, turned a toothless organization into one that controls college sports. He grew disenchanted with his creation, however, writing in his 1995 memoir that the NCAA is “firmly committed to the neoplantation belief that the enormous proceeds from games belong to the overseers (the administrators) and supervisors (coaches). The plantation workers performing in the arena may receive only those benefits authorized by the overseers.”

    Since then, the slavery analogy has become the favored cudgel of NCAA critics. Comedian Chris Rock, for example, claimed that “college sports are no different than slavery.” A.J. Daulerio, then editor-in-chief at Gawker, argued in The Atlantic that it’s OK to compare college athletes to slaves because it “makes more people turn their heads and openly question the NCAA’s policies.” Even politically conservative media outlets have endorsed the analogy. The American Spectator published a piece, “The NCAA’s Slaves,” arguing that in some respects slave owners were morally superior to the NCAA: “Even some Southern plantation owners allowed slaves to earn extra cash through self-employment. The NCAA is not so enlightened.”

    The slavery analogy, however, is wrong: It overstates and misdiagnoses the problem. The NCAA’s rules don’t mirror slavery but rather the Jim Crow South’s legal restrictions on black laborers. In other words, college athletes are exploited like blacks after slavery. …

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
    • eugenenative says:

      Maybe the college athletes should boycott? There is nothing preventing them.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      • Fishwrapper says:

        I’d like to see them organize…

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
        • balling says:

          Some football players did inquire about organizing. I’m not a sports buff, but i think it was back when a player had some problem about monetizing their presence at a birthday party and got shut down they expressed an interest in unionizing and some players sat down to talk with an organizer about it. Had to be in secret because of blowback from the coach though.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
        • Organized says:

          That was a few years back. There have been more recent talks with athletes at UO about organizing. It has been by a close margin that UO isn’t already the next test case and it may soon still be. For now it was decided that it is best to firmly establish in private Universities before converting a public, but UO will likely be one of the first once that time is right. The close monitoring of athletes by management has made holding talks more difficult but also helps the athletes be more motivated to organize.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    UOM, comparing the situation of free athletes to slaves is stupid, and comparing Altman to a slaveholder is vicious and stupid.

    And the implied comparison to Lincoln is beyond stupid.

    Sorry! Just telling you.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • UO Matters says:

      You’re right, Altman is no Lincoln.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
      • Eugenenative says:

        By that standard we all come up short. Not just Dana Altman.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.