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This thesis uses parallels in the theories of amateurism in college athletics and paternalism in slavery to better understand college football as a system of exploitation of labor. To provide the reader with a background of these theories, it begins with in-depth explanations of their developments and various components. This study focuses on the similarities in arguments made by proponents of both theories, and pays particular attention to the idea that these systems of exploitation supposedly benefit those exploited. It compares the argument that college athletics creates for athletes the opportunity to receive a "free education" with the notion of slavery "saving" Africans by introducing them to Christianity. Through analysis of these arguments and the findings of multiple studies that examine the experiences of those exploited, this thesis reveals the inherent logical fallacies of these theories and the impact they have on those that operate under these exploitative systems.