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Can Student Athletes Gain More Control Over Their Lives And Earnings?

Last month, Duke University’s freshman superstar men’s basketball player Zion Williamson did something that most of us had never seen. It wasn’t a 360 dunk or a halfcourt swish. He slipped and twisted his knee because his left shoe quite literally came apart.

The incident illuminated the reality that while Williamson in in a high-revenue sport for a major university, he can’t reap financial benefits of his talent in basketball.

That's because the NBA has a requirement that an athlete can’t go immediately from high school to the league. So if the knee injury had been more serious, his earning prospects would have been almost completely eliminated.

There have also been a number of stories — including recently at Arizona's Grand Canyon University — about student athletes feeling mistreated by coaches and administrators. So do any of them have the power to act on these issues? Is the system changing?

To talk about that, The Show spoke with Victoria Jackson, sports historian and lecturer in history at Arizona State University.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.