Today was the third day of press conferences. With nothing resembling news afoot, discussion turned to other issues. Seattle Seahawks stars Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett expressed some views on the NCAA.
Bennett called the NCAA “one of the biggest scams in America.”
“I think the NCAA is one of the biggest scams in America,” Bennett said. “These kids put so much on the line. They [the NCAA] say, ‘We give you a free degree.’ That’s like me owning a restaurant and saying, ‘I’ll give you a free burger.’ It makes me so mad and irate. Universities need to do more for the student-[athletes].”
Sherman spoke about a number of issues related to the “student athlete.”
“People say you get room and board and they pay for your education. But to [the school officials’] knowledge, you’re there to play football. Those are the things coaches tell you every day. Luckily I was blessed to go to Stanford, a school primarily focused on academics. But as [former Stanford coach] Jim Harbaugh would attest, we were still there to play football.”
Most reasonable people are on the same page with this. College athletes are getting stipends to cover the attendance cost, which is long overdue. The NCAA is (or will soon be) in the process of shedding pointless, niggling rules about food, parents coming to games etc. Ability to earn income off-the-field, like Olympic athletes, is a plausible lawsuit settler.
Whether college football and basketball players will be directly paid a percentage of the TV money is another matter. However fair, the waters in that Rubicon are tempestuous and public support for crossing it may be indifferent.
[Photo via USAT]