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Think NCAA Athletes Shouldn’t be Paid? What the Kevin Ware Story Says About the Risks of College Sports


In many ways, it had been an exemplary few days for the NCAA and its signature basketball tournament—a weekend that put the madness back in March.

On Friday, Michigan and star guard Trey Burke completed an epic comeback over Kansas. On Saturday, Cinderella team Wichita State crashed the Final Four.

But for many people watching the Louisville-Duke game unfold, a disturbing injury to Louisville guard Kevin Ware illustrated a different sort of madness: the continued lack of compensation for the players who make the tournament so special.

“Pray for [Ware],” columnist Dave Zirin tweeted. “There is no safety-net for the injured NCAA athlete.”

Injury worst seen on TV

Ware’s broken leg—”about the most gruesome injury I’ve seen in a basketball game,” bemoaned analyst Seth Davis—came on a routine play, as he landed awkwardly after trying to block a shot by Duke’s Tyler Thornton.

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