Those who follow NCAA politics already know about the unusual and unfair rules they have against paying or compensating players. On this week’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver used March Madness to highlight the issue.
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Want to know how seriously John Oliver takes NCAA’s compensatory rules for their players? This weekend, he spent 20 minutes raging against their refusal to pay college athletes and, of course, he was right. The NCAA argues players are paid with quality college educations, but is that enough? Um, no.
First and foremost, as Oliver and a recent probe into UNC’s athletics practices pointed out, “education” is a bit of a stretch. During the season, players are practicing hours and hours a day and their grades often suffer. UNC began “paper classes” in the summer, where student athletes did minimal, if any, work and were given As to boost their GPAs and make them academically eligible to play. And if they should happen to be injured? Their scholarship is yanked out from under them and they’re often left without an education or a means to take care of themselves after years of floating under the academic radar, thanks to shady coaches.
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There is also the issue of things other than tuition. While many scholarships will cover on-campus housing for their students, there’s still a lot left to worry about. Remember your days of eating Ramen noodles or living off the same large pizza all weekend? How can you even afford that when you’re working so hard on the court that you don’t have time for a job?
As Oliver pointed out, thanks to sponsorships, March Madness is a billion-dollar affair, yet players see none of that ad money. Nor do they see money from sales of their jerseys in the school shops or from those old NCAA basketball video games. And their coaches? The leading universities are paying their coaches millions of dollars per year.
Oliver isn’t the only one who’s fired up over this ridiculous and unfair practice — we’re calling shenanigans on the whole thing, too. Watch the video for more in-depth info on how the NCAA is taking advantage of the players.
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