In the last 50 years the popularity of NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball has become similar to that of professional sports. This league, comprised of unpaid, amateur athletes enrolled as students at member universities, holds amateurism to be its core governing principle, but has changed the definition of the term over time. I begin with the history of the league’s definition of amateurism, its relation to athletes, and the legal definition of the NCAA as a governing body. The amateur ideal in the eye of the American public is also analyzed through jurisprudence. Budgeting and profit for the NCAA and the university athletic departments are used to aid in the understanding of rising revenue from television and sponsor contracts. Further, identification of misappropriation of funds, along with corrupt internal investigation practices in conjunction with incongruences between the definition of student-athletes and actual practices, strongly suggests the need for reform. Finally, the Sherman Anti-trust Act and the National Labor Relations Act are used to identify an alternative format for this pre-professional league in accordance with their primary status of employees.