What is it about?

Our brains are wired to make us susceptible to things that sound true but aren't, and this same pre-programming makes it hard for the truth to push out the fiction. We explain the economics that makes us ready to believe the myths of amateurism and then point out the rational arguments that ought to prevail instead.

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Why is it important?

Because the multi-billion dollar industry of college sports rests on a four broad categories of myth, and because relying on your gut instinct will trick you into falling for "truthy" sounding fictions, understanding why you should push back on your confirmation bias and examine the claims for what they really are will lead you to key insights and help contribute to better economic policy in college sports.


I set out to write this paper as an update to my 2011 paper "Excuses not Reasons" which laid out 13 specific NCAA myths that I saw as pretexts. In my view, the nuch simpler explanation for why athlete compensation is capped is because the schools see it as a way to keep their costs down (which ironically doesn't really work, as the money gets spent elsewhere anyway). In this paper, Kevin Trahan and I wanted to do two things -- to update the data supporting our arguments that the claims are fictitious, but also to help people understand why it's so easy to believe them even when they are false.

Mr Andy Schwarz

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Mythology Playbook, The Antitrust Bulletin, March 2017, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0003603x17691382.
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