In the strictest sense an amateur is one who has never accepted money or compensation for participating in a competition. And that is absolutely dead. Olympians receive compensation. Even golfers in amateur tournaments receive prizes.
In a looser sense, though, amateurism is alive, if on life support. It's when you define one as an amateur if you accept restrictions specified by a regulatory body, in this case the NCAA.
Perhaps this could be the beginning of the end of that, too.
Currently, however, the push is simply to form a union and give athletes a platform in regard to NCAA policies. In fact, as the situation stands, the push is limited to private schools.
We all know, though, where this is headed. It will ultimately be about money.
My thought is schools could use that to their advantage. They could say, hey, college athletics are for amateurs. They could say that's all they want to house. In fact, the schools could point to NCAA Form 13-3a, which was signed by Colter. It's signed by all NCAA athletes.
It's the Student-Athlete Statement. Says it: "By signing this part of the form, you affirm that, to the best of your knowledge, you have not violated any amateurism rules."
The reason the NCAA can't be a dictatorship is because athletes don't have to sign that form. They aren't being forced to do so. They don't have to accept the scholarship and conjoined offer to play college athletics.
Is it fair the athletes put in the hard work and some guy named Gene Smith receives financial spoils? No. Absolutely not. In fact, the thought is nauseating. Is it fair coaches make millions off the sweat of their players? Of course not.
But most kids understand the deal.
Most kids understand taking an offer to attend and play for a school makes their life better - in some cases significantly better.
Those that don't understand, meanwhile, will probably learn a lesson we all must at some point.
Not all in life is fair.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.