Research/Audience Assignment : Should college athletes be paid?

My issue is should college athletes be paid ? The NCAA prohibits college athletes from getting paid and it is a problem that has been going on for almost 15 years. College athletes risk their careers out there by playing the game they love and the NCAA takes advantage of this to make the most money out of viewer entertainment. For my first message, I wrote an email to the NCAA to persuade them to change their point of view on this matter, since they are technically the ones in charge. I chose an email because it would be the most appropriate way to communicate with a company. For my second message, I chose to post in a school newspaper, more specifically in Duke University’s school newspaper The Chronicle. Duke University is a place where college basketball is the most popular and hopefully other school newspapers, from more colleges, will see this message and spread it throughout the nation. I chose to post it in a school newspaper because the major college basketball fans are the college students themselves.

 

Message 1:

Dear NCAA, 

College basketball is one of the most profitable entertainment sources in television today. According to businessinsider.com , the NCAA brings in about $1 billion dollars of revenue every year, most of it in “March Madness”, the period through which college teams compete in the tournament to win the national collegiate championship. Now, the NCAA is against paying their college athletes, even to not let them make money off their image of likeness. You guys should in fact overturn this decision. For one, college athletes risk everything by going to your league and playing their hearts out to demonstrate to the NBA scouts that they are talent-worthy enough of making it to the big pro leagues. Besides this, college athletes risk their health by playing in this league. A perfect example of this would be the recent Duke star Zion Williamson. He was the most hyped 5-star recruit that came out of high school since Lebron James in 2003 and he has definitely brought in viewers and money to the NCAA. He risked his career by playing in your games, and because of this he suffered a knee sprain that, if unlucky, could have jeopardized his career. Many people believed he should not play one more college game for the sake of his career. But he still returned to be able to play the game he loves so much. Besides this, college athletes don’t really have a choice than to play for college basketball teams. Because of the rule the NBA passed years ago, players aren’t allowed into the NBA Draft within a year from graduating from high school, meaning have to go play college basketball or go overseas to play. Even besides a salary pay, college athletes should be able to make money off their image. Under current NCAA rules, “the NCAA strictly prohibits remuneration for any activity by any student athletes including endorsements, appearances and advertisements”. Because of this, college athletes have no way of making money while attending college, maintaining their grades to be able to play, and play the actual games. The NCAA brings in 1 billion dollars every year, so why not pay college athletes by a salary ? If not, then at least let them make money off their image. College athletes put their careers at risk out there on the court every night just for entertainment purposes of college basketball viewers. Allowing college athletes to make money will be a relief for the families of these young and aspiring players. Basically, they would be healthier by not having to worry about having a job or trying to balance a job with school and basketball.

Overall, paying college athletes is a must. The young amateur players will go onto play basketball for a living, and paying them would be a relief to them and their families. If not a salary pay, then perhaps let them make money off endorsements or their image. It would be a big help to guide them in the right way and help them take that first step to transition into the professional players that they will soon become one day.

 

Message 2:

MAKING MONEY ! : The big question everyone is talking about. Should college athletes get paid ?

 

Many months since the scary injury that Zion Williamson suffered during a college playoff game, the spark on college athletes getting paid has been lit up once again. The NCAA brought in $1 billion dollars in the 16-17 school year with most of that coming through the Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament : March Madness. This injury ignited controversy among many college basketball fans, as well as NBA fans as they see their number 1 recruit get injured, jeopardizing his career in the professional league. Many believed he should just never play a college game again but he continued. The NCAA justifies not paying their athletes by claiming that amateurism keeps it from becoming an anticompetitive trust (monopoly). In businessinsider.com, the editor claims  “ the NCAA declares student-athletes shall be amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be motivated primarily by education… ”. This came straight out of the NCAA Division I Handbook, where it goes on to say that college athletes cannot make money off endorsements or any other deals involving their image and/or appearances. College students ! Will you just sit there and do nothing while your fellow peers who are college athletes put their whole career in jeopardy ? Will we, as college students, watch how our classmates play their hearts out day and night and put their careers, and consequently their whole life, at risk for viewing pleasure of others ? Recently, lawmakers have been pushing in favor of laws to allow college athletes to make money in some way. According to an article by the New York Times, because of a law passed in California, college athletes will be allowed to promote products and companies in 2023. This is a first step towards the right direction. What we all, as students, can do is to support our fellow college athletes in their fight towards getting paid in some way for their service. 

One way we can all fight for this cause is to protest peacefully. We as college students can come together to achieve great things. For one, we can all boycott our basketball games. Everyone knows college students are the number one fans of college basketball teams and this will impact the NCAA significantly. Another way would be to encourage government lawmakers to act on this since they have superiority over the NCAA. The California law mentioned before is a great example of this. Hopefully, these types of laws will spread out to not only California, but to the whole nation and allow college athletes to receive money from doing what they love, which is a first step into them going to the professional league. 

Standing up to a higher organization is what we must do. Us college students must unite to fight against the NCAA and their unlawful rules which prohibit college athletes from getting paid.

Annotated Bibliography

AbigailJHess. “Majority of College Students Say Student-Athletes Should Be Paid, Survey Finds.” CNBC, CNBC, 11 Sept. 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/11/student-athletes-should-get-paid-college-students-say.html.

Blinder, Alan. “N.C.A.A. Athletes Could Be Paid Under New California Law.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Sept. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/sports/college-athletes-paid-california.html.

Cameron, Steve. “The NCAA Brings in $1 Billion a Year – Here’s Why It Refuses to Pay Its College Athletes.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Mar. 2019, https://www.businessinsider.com/ncaa-college-athletes-march-madness-basketball-football-sports-not-paid-2019-3.

Roshaun Colvin, Joshua Jansa. “Analysis | California’s ‘Fair Pay to Play’ Law for College Athletes Has Other States Racing to Join up. Here’s Why.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Nov. 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/11/18/californias-fair-pay-play-law-college-athletes-has-other-states-racing-join-up-heres-why/.

“The Chronicle.” The Chronicle, https://www.dukechronicle.com/.

 

Reflection

My genre was science fiction books and I was able to analyze certain characteristics found in these types of books. One of the things they all had in common was the rhetorical appeal of pathos. All of the authors, in their own way, tried to emotionally appeal or connect the reader to the main character with sympathy or other ways. Another similarity is that most of them occur in a futuristic setting, as in years ahead of the present time. For example, The Martian took place in 2035 and Ender’s Game takes place in 2086 which is 100 years after the book was published. Another similar trait they all had was the aspect of warfare. In Ender’s Game the whole plot revolves around making suitable commanders at a young age for war against an alien species. In The Hunger Games the story takes place in a futuristic North America called “Panem” and its government was established due to a huge war between the government and a past rebellion. And lastly, another sci-fi trait is the innovation of science/technology. This can be seen in The Martian because the story is about astronauts who are on Mars, something that hasn’t been done by humans yet. Some things I learned about my topic is that the first ever science fiction book was made in the second century and was called A True Story by the Syrian satirist Lucian. It included other extraterrestrial lifeforms and other universes which is what science fiction is mainly about. I also learned that the rhetorical appeal of pathos is used in all sci-fi books, something I had never noticed. Some things I still want to learn about sci-fi is how it was many years ago. Recent books mainly revolve around space and later years in the future but what about books from the 20th century ? Did they think about certain futuristic things that could happen in our time ? For example, in the Back to the Future movie, it included travelling to the year 2015 where it included self-lacing shoes, something that did not turn into a big thing until this year. Certain things like this make me wonder if science-fiction is just are way of perceiving things that we hope may or may not happen in our own future. 

Throughout this assignment, based on my first draft and the peer review, I learned that at the beginning I was not analyzing the sources in a correct way. This lead to me getting better at analyzing the sources and more importantly showing evidence for my claims on my rhetorical analysis. My strengths as a writer are just being able to understand what the author’s message is or their claim. For example, when coming up with the claims for Flowers for Algernon, it was easy for me to identify because it was just the message that I got and what the author was trying to portray to me. What I feel I need to work on is being able to identify evidence in the sources to support those claims. For example, when I wrote about the author’s claim in The Martian I was able to provide evidence of the book on a certain chapter based off my feelings when I read that specific part. What made this a problem was that I wasn’t sure if any other person reading the book would feel the same way, leading to a different effect. In order to work on this, I guess I would have to practice on finding evidence to support any type of claim. 

Sci-Fi books

Xavier Beltran

Professor Jewell

English 1101

Annotated Bibliography 

 

Sci-Fi Sources

 

In Flowers for Algernon (1959),the author Daniel Keyes argues that intellect doesn’t make up anyone’s identity. In this book, the main character, Charlie, undergoes an experimentative surgery to become more intelligent (he already has an IQ of 68) and it successfully works. Before Charlie, Algernon was the first animal test subject and this mouse showed dramatic improvements in its mental performance which lead to Charlie being chosen as the first human subject. Keyes uses pathos as a way to connect the reader to Charlie as he tries to rediscover who he is when he becomes smarter. In progress report 8 (each chapter is called progress report since this is technically Charlie’s diary), Charlie writes “But the deeper I get tangled up in this mass of dreams and memories, the more I realize that emotional problems can’t be solved as intellectual problems are”. Here, the author uses emotion to connect the reader to Charlie because Charlie starts having relationship problems with his friends which makes him unhappy. He thought that by being smarter, his problems would go away and that his life would get easier and the readers would feel bad for him and/or feel similar to him because even before the surgery, Charlie’s friends would treat him bad and make fun of him. This shows that the intended audience for this book is to younger people who have yet to discover their own identity, or have yet to discover themselves, and so they would be able to emotionally relate to this character. Keyes also uses Algernon’s death as a way to affect readers emotionally and to be able to sympathize even more with Charlie.

 

Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon. Harcourt Brace, 1966.

 

The Martian (2011) by Andy Weir is a sci-fi novel based around Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and has to get back home to Earth. After accidentally being left stranded by his crew members when they left the planet, Mark has to overcome intense challenges to get back home. In this novel, Weir demonstrates that perseverance is what it took to get Mark home. He argues that if you don’t have perseverance, you will never be able to accomplish your task. The author uses the rhetorical appeal of pathos in his book in chapter 14 when the Hab (Mark’s base/home on Mars) accidentally explodes, causing his food supply to be destroyed as well. Then Mark’s suit rips, he gets trapped and realizes the situation he’s in and says “ I’ve got a few minutes before I run out of air and I’ll be damned if I spend them playing Mars’s little game”. Here, the readers can feel Mark’s pain because after everything, after being able to make contact with NASA after three months of isolation, after creating a food supply that can possibly last him four years, after somewhat figuring out a plan to get him back home to Earth, his dreams are all crushed because of this explosion. Either way, Mark’s perseverance allows him to keep on going because after this he figures out a way to overcome yet another challenge in repairing the Hab and coming up with another plan for him to get back home. Because of the perseverance shown by Mark to the readers, it is clear Weir targets mainly young people with his argument, showing that if you don’t have perseverance, you won’t be able to accomplish your goals.

 

Weir, Andy. The Martian. Ebury Digital, 2016.

 

In The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins, the main character, Katniss volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in a kill-to-survive competition set up by her government. Throughout the novel, Collins argues that sacrifices must be made to accomplish your goals, to show that life has meaning. The author shows the final example of sacrifice in the end of the novel, when Katniss and her partner are the only ones left in the games and they decide to eat poisonous berries to go against the Capitol (the government in this novel). The author writes “I spread out my fingers, and the dark berries glisten in the sun. I give Peeta’s hand one last squeeze as a signal, as a good-bye, and we begin counting. “One.” Maybe I’m wrong. “Two.” Maybe they don’t care if we both die. “Three!” It’s too late to change my mind. I lift my hand to my mouth, taking one last look at the world. The berries have just passed my lips when the trumpets begin to blare”, and when the author writes this, she tries to make the readers sympathize with Katniss and her partner, because after everything they went through in the games, killing the other contestants and the sacrifice of an ally, they were ready to sacrifice their lives in opposition to the government. Using pathos as a rhetorical appeal, the author connects the reader to Katniss emotionally and establishes the idea that sacrifices are necessary to show that life actually has meaning.

 

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2011.

 

In Divergent (2011) by Veronica Roth, the main character Tris lives in a futuristic/post-apocalyptic society that is divided into 5 different factions based on specific virtues. When Tris turns 16 and she is tested to see which faction she belongs to, she realizes she is “Divergent” meaning she doesn’t fit in with any specific faction (but a combination of them). Throughout the novel, the author tries to argue that someone’s identity isn’t so simple to figure out, since a big part of someone’s identity is trying to see where they fit in. Roth uses Tris as her main example, showing she belongs to 3 different factions (Abnegation, Erudite & Dauntless) and how she has to figure out who she is on her own, without the results of a test. Using pathos as a rhetorical appeal, Roth tries to make the reader sympathize with Tris because she hasn’t figured out who she is . Because of this, it could be inferred that Roth’s main audience is young people trying to figure out their own identity, as in, their own place in the world. This can also be from the fact that Tris is a 16 year old with issues about her true self. For example, when Roth writes “ I stare at my plate of food. I just grabbed what looked good to me at the time, and now that I take a closer look, I realize that I chose a plain chicken breast, a scoop of peas, and a piece of brown bread. Abnegation food ”, the readers can sympathize with Tris because while she does just tries to live her life, her “divergence” will follow her everywhere she goes which makes her question her identity within her society. Another example would be when Tris looks at herself in the mirror “ I step to the side so I stand in front of the mirror. I see muscles that I couldn’t see before in my arms, legs, and stomach. I pinch my side, where a layer of fat used to hint at curves to come. Nothing. Dauntless initiation has stolen whatever softness my body had. Is that good, or bad? ”. The readers can notice how she is conflicted about her new look, how she realizes this is a completely different girl than the one from the beginning of the book. Roth uses this to make the readers sympathize with Tris about their own identity, establishing the idea that someone’s identity isn’t a simple thing you can figure out.

 

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Katherine Tegen Books, 2011.

 

In Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, the author argues that good things never come from manipulating others. This book follows the journey of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, who is a “third” child in a futuristic Earth with a two-child policy. From early on, Ender is put on a Battle School (a school that trains gifted kids to become commanders in their war against the ‘buggers’, which are an alien race), where he was admitted after a colonel saw Ender beat up a bully because he didn’t want the bully to escalate the problem even more, even though the bully dies due to his injuries. Ender excels at the Battle School which puts him in simulations against the buggers. The author demonstrates the horrible manipulation at the end of the book, when Ender defeats a simulation of a battle between his troops and the buggers, in which he sacrifices all his troops to destroy the alien’s homeworld. The author wrote “It had to be a trick or you couldn’t have done it ” after Ender was told that he in fact was not in a simulation, but that he was leading actual human spacecraft against actual alien troops, meaning he just committed mass genocide against a whole planet without him knowing. Here, the author connects the reader to Ender by trying to empathize the reader with the main character. Knowing he destroyed a whole alien race, Ender realizes he was manipulated the whole time which is why the colonel told him he had to be manipulated or he wouldn’t have done it. Because of this, it can be inferred that the intended audience are young people who don’t have a sense of who they are and that since they are young, they can be easily manipulated by other people which can cause chaos. 

 

Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. Tor, 2017.

 

In The Maze Runner by James Dashner, the author argues that someone’s identity is very important. This book follows the journey of multiple children who are sent to the Glades, a maze with lethal creatures called grievers in it, who must find a way to escape the maze. Every month, an elevator in the glades brings the children food, supplies and a new kid with just their first name and this book centers around a kid named Thomas, who doesn’t remember who he is when he wakes up in the maze. Throughout the whole book, every character struggles to figure out who they are (what makes up their identity), which hinders their ability to focus on the task at hand (for example, in escaping the maze) and the character uses pathos as a way to sympathize the readers with character. Because of this lack of identity, the intended audience are younger people who don’t know who they are or what there place is in the world. The author demonstrates this in chapter 28 when he says “ Thomas was overwhelmed by a surge of anger. “Fine, so how do we do it? I want to know who I am just as much as anyone else. Obviously. […] Thomas paused, upset and suddenly embarrassed. What did it all mean? Was he different from everyone else somehow? Was something wrong with him?”. By saying this, the author makes Thomas feel embarrassed at showing the frustrations that he has with himself, which leaves him unable to complete the task in that chapter. The readers can connect to this because most young people let their emotions get the best of themselves, leaving them vulnerable. This is why Dashner argues that someone’s identity is important, and that although all the kids there have no idea who they are, they have to work together to accomplish their goals.

Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. Delacorte Press, 2009.

“Why we need smarter sci-fi movies now more than ever”

Sci-fi movies are some of the most peculiar and diverse movie genres out right now. The article “Why we need smarter sci-fi movies now more than ever ” talks about the benefits that we receive from watching more sci-fi movies. It claims that smarter sci-fi movies (like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar) must be made because it provides people with a different perspective to things in life and makes them rethink certain subjects. This author directly speaks to the readers of this article in a calm tone while continuously asking why some people don’t seem to interact with sci-fi movies as much as before. The author uses pathos as a method to provide the reader with a glimpse into the emotions that a sci-fi movie can provide, stating “Science-fiction can offer a number of things beyond pure escapism: it can offer a glimmer of hope for humanity, and, perhaps more crucially, it can also hold up a mirror to those currents in society we might not fully understand or recognise yet”. By saying this, the author makes the reader feel curious as to why certain things happen in our everyday world and how sci-fi movies might be able to give them an answer when putting the two worlds up for comparison. 

Collecting Dust

My bookbag weighed a ton. I remember walking up the three flights of stairs in middle school to get to the third floor, which is where I had all my classes. What made my back hurt was that dumb book, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan which had so many pages. It was part of some greek mythology novel which was part of a bigger series, The Heroes of Olympus. I would read them all the time during lunch, recess and even in my own classes. I would find any way to read that book but today was different. I came to school with that book ready to read it when I went into my math class and saw the lesson up on the smartboard. For the first time in probably all of my school life, I didn’t understand what the lesson was about. I saw a bunch of numbers and letters but I had to ask my friend Eduardo what they were about.

They’re systems of equations Xavi” he’d say.

Of course, if I had been paying attention I would have known what that was. I was in eighth grade, so taking algebra in middle school wasn’t something every kid did but still I understood most of the lessons because math was always my strong suit. For the first time in months, instead of putting my Heroes of Olympus book in my desk like I usually do, I left it in my bag. A sense of nervousness and anxiety filled me because never in my life would I think I couldn’t understand math. It took me about a week and a lot of help from Eduardo to be able to understand what was going on in class. Once I got caught up in math though, I returned to my bad habit of reading that book everywhere. My mom would love that I was reading all the time.

 “That’s good for your brain mijo” she’d say.

When my report card came out with all my grades though, it was a completely different story. My mom couldn’t even look at me in the eye and I couldn’t give her a valid excuse as to why those grades were so low. I knew she was disappointed in me and it was one of the worst feelings in the world as a child. I slowly realized that the book was doing me no good. The next day, I went to talk to Mr.Fernandez, my math teacher. He said my test grades were low and I barely paid attention in class. When I told my mom about this, she would then proceed to blame me and the books. 

“It’s all because of those dumb books that you carry around and read everywhere”  she said.

She went on to tell me to just throw the books out because they would just collect dust in my room. I was so confused because everyone told me that reading all these books was good for me and that I would grow up with a healthy mind and imagination. I didn’t realize that I was growing up and some priorities had to be set straight. School always came first which meant my grades and everything related to my future was to come first. I associated books and reading with school so I just assumed I was doing nothing wrong when I spent hours reading those fiction books. I told myself I needed a little self control and that school and my grades should come first. And they did.

That was my eighth grade, and I ended the school year with grades that not only satisfied myself, but my parents too. Putting the books away taught me to have patience with myself and that in a way ,since I was young, I have time for everything in the world. The books were good for me as it opened up my mind to fictional universes and gave me an interest in fiction and sci-fi novels. Reading is a luxury to me now and if it wasn’t for these books, I would probably have no interest in reading nowadays. Those books are probably still somewhere under my bed collecting dust as most old books do. 

Personal Experience Essay

Ever since I was in middle school, I loved to read. It was a mix of genres like mystery, drama and even sci-fi. One of my favorites was greek mythology and the fiction books that came with it. During sixth grade I became obsessed with reading these fiction books based on greek mythology and I’m pretty sure everyone knows these books but they were the percy jackson books. Besides the five books that came in that series, there was another series that was a sequel to the percy jackson books that followed up on the character’s journey. For most of my middle school years, I remember trying to sneak in as much time as I could into reading these books. If I could, I’d get through 100 maybe even 200 pages in a day or two if I had time to read it at home. I’d sneak it into my locker in gym and inside my desks in almost all my classes. What I started realizing, towards the end of seventh grade was that my grades started to drop. Math especially was the one subject I started to do bad in and I was always good at math. My mother blamed the books, but seeing as to how I was so young, I didn’t blame the books because I kept thinking they were good for me. Seeing it now, they really were good for me because I despised reading, especially long books. Those books had more than 500 pages each and I read all of them. They were my escape from school and everything revolving around it.

Response to Sandra Cisneros’ “Only Daughter”

My favorite story was Sandra Cisneros’ Only Daughter. In this story, the author talks about her childhood and how, throughout most of her life, she sought approval from her father. I can relate to this myself because as a kid all I wanted to do was receive approval from my parents and I’m pretty sure most kids were like that too. Most people give up on that idea when they grow older, but the author talks about how she still sought approval from her father through her own writing. This is what I found interesting because mainly people grow into adults and stop trying to get approval from their parents but she didn’t. This was because she grew up around brothers who probably always received approval from their father while she didn’t. Overall, this story was really interesting and shows how important the role of family is on someone’s life.