The documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports” gives a perspective on whether or not college athletes should be paid. This documentary essentially states that the NCAA exploits student athletes who participate in college sports, but the athletes do not reap any benefits from the profits the NCAA is making. The film begins with presenting this problem. It then goes on to give a history of the NCAA and how they established their organization. One of the basic principles in which the NCAA was found upon was the fact that students coming to school to play sports would not be paid to play. Instead, they would be given a scholarship to attend school for free. In the beginning, athletes wanting to be paid was not a huge issue, but with the introduction of high profile companies sponsoring college athletics and the broadcast of the sports on national television, the problem skyrocketed. Student athletes felt violated by this system. The rest of the film focuses on interviews of highly recognizable sports figures, and anecdotes of college athletes who have suffered as a result of the NCAA. The context, audience, purpose, and point of view are all easily identified and combine together to make a highly compelling argument for the pay of student athletes.
The context of this film is college athletes who have come out and said they have had enough of being subjugated by the NCAA. There have been multiple accounts of athletes who have said they cannot afford to buy food, they need help paying rent, or they want money to send back home to their family because they are in need of money. However, they have no power to do this because they do not have any way to make any sort of revenue due to NCAA regulations. Once these issues were brought to the public eye, many people started to question the legitimacy of the NCAA, prompting many people to write books or make moves such as “Schooled” about the on going issue.
The audience for this documentary was primarily intended to be those who are on the fence or do not agree with the idea of paying student athletes. This is clear because the film is 100% on the side of paying student athletes. Because of its one sidedness, it is tailored strictly to help persuade those who do not fully agree with paying student athletes. The argument could also be made that they movie was made to be seen by people who have no knowledge about the issue. There are numerous facts and interviews that explain the situation thoroughly enough to where the audience could become educated enough to where they could make their own opinion about the subject.
The purpose of this film is to gain sympathy for student athletes and show the corruption of the NCAA. This is effectively done by ethos, logos, and pathos. The credibility of this film (logos) is seen by interviewing high profile athletes and personalities such as Arian Foster, Jay Bilas, and Bob Costas. Hearing what these highly recognizable people giving their opinion about this issue will make people to listen. The facts (logos) that this documentary presents to gain sympathy for the athletes is when it discusses the account of Jonathan Franklin, a running back at UCLA. The film states the scholarship UCLA grants is approximately $28,000 a year, but it falls about $3,500 short of the “cost of attendance”. These facts show the audience that athletes are not given the money to buy meals, groceries, or other items they need for school. The emotion (pathos) for this documentary include an account by a former student athlete from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Devon Ramsay made use of a tutor provided by the athletic department, but because of one small change the tutor made to his paper, the NCAA accused him of academic fraud. After that, he was permanently ineligible from athletics. The NCAA does not allow the use of a tutor, but they are not afraid to make billions of dollars from these athletes and keep it. This anecdote is included in the movie solely to make people upset and appeal to their emotions.
This documentary is written form the point of view of people that are strictly advocating for the pay of college athletes. The majority of the people in the film are for the issue, so any time a problem is presented with the matter, it is quickly rebutted because of the vast number of people bring many different perspectives to the table. It is also important that the story of this film is basically told by athletes. This gives a real life perspective of people that have experienced this first hand. Not to mention, as I have previously stated, it gives the film some credibility and makes the average person listen to what they have to say.
I have always been on the fence about this issue. However, this documentary was incredibly convincing and gave numerous reasons as to why student athletes should receive compensation. Due to the film’s ability to fully persuade an avid sport’s fan like myself to one side of the issue, I am giving the documentary five stars.