Business has been good for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) the nonprofit organisation that sets the rules for college sports in the US.

They are being asked to sacrifice more. They are being asked to treat their sport as a year-round endeavour, so the demands on them are so intense that it has put them in a situation where it's like a fight-or-die kind of a situation. 

Dave Zirin, Sportswriter

In less than two decades, the NCAA's assets have skyrocketed, growing by nearly 1,000 percent.

The athletes who star on the field, however, do not receive longterm health care, are prevented from collecting a paycheck, and have no seat at the bargaining table.

Now former and current football players are challenging the status quo on multiple fronts. In April, the team at Northwestern University rocked the sports world by voting on whether to form the first union in college football history.

Former Clemson University standout Darius Robinson joined a class-action lawsuit to overturn NCAA rules that prevent athletes from sharing in the revenue they produce. And Adrian Arrington, a former captain at Eastern Illinois University, is the lead plaintiff in a landmark concussion suit against the NCAA.

Fault Lines investigates the multi-billion-dollar industry of college football, the players who produce that wealth, and their demands for a more equitable game.


Fault Lines can be seen on Al Jazeera English each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2230; Wednesday: 0930; Thursday: 0330; Friday: 1630. 

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Source: Al Jazeera