“They are student-athletes. They are not our employees, they don’t work for us. They are our students, so we don’t pay them,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in February of 2011 back when the NCAA was just in the top 5 of the hypocritical organizations in the world instead of the undisputed world champion.
A premier college athlete can make millions of dollars for his school without even sniffing a penny of it. Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M is the most recent example; he was in some NCAA hot water after allegedly accepting money for his autograph.
Meanwhile, his game-worn college jersey with his signature was projected to sell for six figures — without any mention of him receiving any royalties. There is no argument for the NCAA in this situation; do you think this buyer would have paid this exorbitant amount if the punter had signed his jersey? No, he did it for Manziel’s signature.
The NCAA wants the public to believe that all student-athletes are created equal. In its unrealistic expectation, the NCAA hopes every fan feels the same way about every player on his or her favorite team, but I’m going to guess UNC fans might be a little more inclined to pay for a game-worn jersey of Michael Jordan than Jackson Simmons. These athletes are not employees, but they are treated like it.
Athletes are censored by their teams and university for the sake of maintaining the UNC’s image (which isn’t exactly too hot anyway). UNC claims that they represent the U when they sign onto their scholarships, yet Moreheads aren’t underneath the Facebook Gestapo. Are they not representing the University? Hell, our student body president is a Morehead and he is quite literally a representative of all of the student body, and I have not heard any mention of him being censored.
Now, if UNC and the rest of the NCAA finally acknowledge these athletes as employees and start paying them accordingly, then I think they have every right to censor them. Companies monitor their employees all the time and have every right to do so because they are a private enterprise.
To be completely honest, I think college athletics in their current state have an expiration date that is getting scarily close. The only thing that is keeping it afloat is the lack of other football league options than the NFL. If top basketball recruits really wanted to, they could all come together and play overseas or in the D-League for a year and then join the NBA. Top high school football players have no other option but to go to a blue chip school and then bid their time there before going to the riches of the professional league. And the NCAA knows how valuable football is— it is why they keeping experimenting with the playoff system. People think these kids should paid? Quick look at this shiny new championship game we just pulled out of our ass! Without the revenue from these two sports, every other sport will cease to operate at the high level they do. And the corrupt PR machine known as the NCAA would crumble.
It’s only a matter of time.