I’m so sick of the NCAA’s BS. Like honestly, someone has to put this company in their place (emphasis on the word company, not organization). The latest story involves LSU star running back Leonard Fournette, who’s family is being investigated for profiting off of his likeness through a website. The website, BUGA Nation, is an acronym coined by Fournette himself and his parents. It stands for, “Being United Generates Attitude”. At it’s core, it’s supposed to be an inspirational message.
Now I’m not on the bandwagon that college athletes should get a salary for their services. Being on scholarship, not having to pay for a meal plan and not having to pay for books suffices in my eyes. This is especially because a fair amount of these athletes wouldn’t be able to get into a lot of the schools they go to. Note, I’m not saying all or most of the athletes. But if you tell me there isn’t a sizeable portion who takes enrollment at a school away from someone who is interested in using it as an academic institution, which is what college is created for, then you’re crazy and you’re ignorant.
But there’s plenty of instances where the NCAA is just stupid. Remember Silas Nacita, the walk-on at Baylor? Well, he doesn’t play there anymore, he plays at an NAIA school in Texas. He had been a model student (his GPA was in the high 3’s) and he’d obviously earned a spot in a prestigious program. He even got playing time, scoring 3 touchdowns in 2014. But he was homeless, and his financial aid package didn’t cover the cost of books…. Let me repeat that. He was homeless. So a family friend offered to pay rent for him to live in an apartment. I get the NCAA didn’t rule him out, but Baylor did because if they didn’t, their entire program would’ve been punished. I didn’t realize an expense that doesn’t come from the school or a booster is an impermissible benefit.
Or how about Jake Olson? Remember him? He was the USC fan that was featured on ESPN’s “My Wish”, due to a disease that was making him go blind. Fast forward to the here and now, and it turns out that Jake is quite the long snapper. In fact, he walked on to the USC team as a long snapper. This wasn’t an honorary member thing or anything either, he’s actually that good. But the NCAA still investigated him because they said the “My Wish” appearance could’ve qualified as an improper benefit. He is on the team, as the NCAA backed off, but still. Are you f’ing kidding me? Seriously?
Look, the NCAA is a monopoly. And there is just no way to regulate them. While I said I don’t think players should be paid, the fact that colleges and the NCAA sell replica jerseys with numbers that happen to be of the most popular players is ridiculous. I don’t blame them for being upset. And if they can’t benefit off their words, their talent, or anything else, then the NCAA and each athletic program should receive the same sanctions.