In October 2018, HBO will release a documentary chronicling amateur athletics in the United States, and showing how not paying these athletes affects them and their families. The documentary, titled STUDENT ATHLETE, features LeBron James as the executive producer, along with other big names, like Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Here’s more from HBO:
“This is an incredibly important story about the institutional denial of basic human rights for these student athletes,” says Maverick Carter, CEO of SpringHill Entertainment. “When Steve Stoute brought us this idea, it was a perfect fit for the kind of stories we want to tell at SpringHill. We’re excited to work with one of the best human rights storytellers in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy to help people see and feel how this issue impacts the lives of those living it.”
Unpaid college athletes generate billions of dollars for their institutions every year. STUDENT ATHLETE unveils the exploitative world of high-revenue college sports through the stories of four young men at different stages of their athletic careers, as well as a coach-turned-advocate and a whistle-blowing shoe rep who exposes the money trail. The documentary spotlights: former NCAA and NFL coach John Shoop; New Jersey high school basketball phenom Nick Richards, now at the University of Kentucky; Mike Shaw, who played at the University of Illinois and Bradley University; Shamar Graves, a former wide receiver at Rutgers University; and Silas Nacita, a walk-on who played at Baylor University.
This documentary will further shed light on the NCAA’s glaring lack of acknowledging athletes as individuals who are directly profitable for schools, often times generating billions of dollars for universities. Steven Godfrey touched on this in his recent Crooked Letters piece chronicling the NCAA’s handling of the Ole Miss recruiting case.
Obviously getting prominent names like James and an Oscar winner in the mix here adds buzz to the upcoming release — James alone is big enough to probably get the NCAA’s attention a bit, too.