The National Collegiate Athletic Association has been attacked lately on how they don’t pay their student-athletes but pay their coaches so much. This has been an ongoing issue for years now, but it seems to be closer to becoming a possible change down the line in the way that student-athletes are handled financially in the NCAA.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was asked what he thought about the NCAA last week, and here was his response.
“Obviously, I’ve never been a part of it, so I don’t know all the ins and outs about it,” James said, “I do know what five-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football. I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids… I’ve always heard the narrative that they get a free education, but you guys are not bringing me on campus to get an education, you guys are bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship, so it’s just a weird thing.”
James is an example of a basketball player who went right from high school to the NBA. This was before the rule was established that basketball players were required to either go into the NCAA or overseas for a year before being eligible for the NBA Draft. James came from a low-income household and knew he had the talent right out of high school.
James knew going to college for a year would’ve been a waste for him. It hurts even more now that athletes have to wait a year to go play in college, be unpaid, and put themselves a year behind their development process through the NBA by playing at a lower college level.
The NCAA requires basketball players to play a year and football players to play three years before they are eligible to declare for their respective drafts.
Former NFL star Shannon Sharpe also commented on the matter saying that it’s
unfortunate that the NCAA requires these rules and that the NCAA should at least properly compensate the athletes for their work in whichever college sport they play, for whichever
college program they play for.
With all of these athletes speaking out, it’s certainly time to make a change here. The NCAA is a business and they don’t want the best athletes skipping them to go professional and I get that, but if you are going to hold them back, at least give them a little bit of compensation for all of the work that these athletes put in to make the NCAA as competitive as it is.