This age-old debate about whether to pay student athletes for their services when the NCAA reaps all of the profit has been going on for decades. Some argue that the scholarship is enough and others think the NCAA is a greedy organization that uses these athletes to profit like they’re slaves.
That’s why California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the “Fair to Play Act,” which allows these NCAA athletes to make money on their name, image and likeness. The NCAA bemoaned Governor Newsom’s decision and it looks like other states are following California’s lead.
But something else just happened over the weekend that shows this is probably the beginning of the end for the NCAA.
In the Oscar winning movie “Moneyball,” Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) says to a head scout of the Oakland Athletics “adapt or die.”
This is the struggle the NCAA faces in the upcoming years. After California Governor Newsom signed the “Fair to Play Act” into law, other states like New York are following suit. A new bill in New York legislature will actually require universities to take revenue earned from athletics and split it equally amongst all the school’s athletes.
Things are changing drastically in college sports and the NCAA should be rightly terrified about the ultimate dissolution of the organization.
But as if it couldn’t get any worse for the NCAA’s seemingly irreparable image already, executives in the organization decided to say “hold my beer.”
Chase Young is the star defensive end of Ohio State University, one of the top teams in the country, and will be competing with quarterbacks to go No. 1 overall in next year’s NFL draft.
Young was suspended for four games, effectively the rest of the season, for violating the NCAA’s strict profiting rule. But that’s not exactly what happened. Young took out a loan from a family friend to fly his girlfriend out to the 2019 Rose Bowl game against University of Washington. He also paid back that family friend since the game.
What seems like an innocent private transaction is severe enough to suspend the talented defensive end for four games.
To make matters even worse for the NCAA, they also just suspended University of Memphis freshman James Wiseman, who is also a projected top pick in next season’s NBA draft, for the whole season. They have not made the season-long suspension official yet but all indicators suggest it’s coming soon.
The allegations against Wiseman is that they concluded Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway paid for Wiseman and his family to move from Nashville to Memphis in 2017. Hardaway, who was not Memphis’s coach at that time but was nonetheless considered a booster of the Tigers’ basketball program, allegedly paid $11,500 for those expenses. According to the university, Wiseman was completely unaware of the payment.
It should be worth noting that this is illegal under the NCAA guidelines but if Wiseman was really unaware then why should he be punished?
If you watched any sports news programs over the weekend, all of the talking heads were fed up with these egregious suspensions for harmless violations that were completely victimless. Who really cares?
And with California signing the new bill, along with other states following suit, it’s likely this is the beginning of the end of the NCAA.