Tuesday, November 18, 2014

S4SC with Sonny Vaccaro Day 2 Recap

Sonny Vaccaro presented to us, on day two, on "Life After the O'Bannon Case" and how it will affect the future of collegiate athletics.  Vaccaro gave the audience a solo presentation on his opinions on the result of O'Bannon v. NCAA and life going forward.  Sonny discussed how the NCAA represents control and how it takes control of many individuals, mainly the student-athletes.  Vaccaro used examples like how the NCAA has their own vocabulary.  Words, such as "student-athlete," "true freshman," and "collegiate model" are nowhere to be found in the English dictionary, but are only in the NCAA bylaws year after year.  They use these words to defend themselves against opposition saying the "kids" are athletes first and not students or are treated unfairly.

One thing Vaccaro stressed is education.  He repeatedly brought up that he graduated fourth...from bottom of his high school class, but enjoyed reading and gave his best effort when it came to his education.  Every year during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the NCAA airs commercials about how the student-athletes will become professional in something other than sports.  Vaccaro can see right through the lies and believes the kids should be compensated in some monetary form for their hard work and dedication.

Vaccaro concluded his visit to Drexel by opening a door to the future after O'Bannon v. NCAA.  Nobody has ever challenged the NCAA in a class-action suite prior to Ed O'Bannon taking on the challenge.  This case has opened doors for other suits to be taken in the future by other individuals seeking restitution from the NCAA for their hard work.  The NCAA and President Mark Emmert feel like they have all the power in the world.  In regards to the Penn State scandal, Sonny left us with a closing thought:  "The President of hte NCAA thought he became emperor of the world, thought he was the King of England; well he isn't and shouldn't be.  Nobody should rule thousands of athletes without letting them have a say."  And with that, Sonny Vaccaro left Drexel University and Philadelphia with the spirit of the colonies 250 years prior:  to bring down the ruler and justice to all.

Micah Sokolsky is a Pre-Junior Sport Management major at Drexel University with minors in Spanish and Business.  Micah hails from San Francisco, CA and was a participant on Drexel Sport Management’s College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) team last year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2013.  Micah completed his first co-op with the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball team in their Marketing and Promotions department.  A member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Micah is involved on campus as the Athletics Chairman for the Inter-Fraternity Council and as a Resident Assistant in Race Hall. Connect withMicah on LinkedIn.

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