Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for Free Speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. In this special edition, Luke calls for an end to NCAA rules prohibiting athletes from making money.
Since it was founded in 1905, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is responsible for the cesspool of corruption that has plagued college sports. It is impossible for the NCAA to continue business as usual in the wake of the mind-blowing allegations Yahoo! Sports has made against the University of Miami football and basketball programs. The ridiculous system preventing student athletes from getting paid or receiving anything of value must be scrapped.
More than a century of treating student athletes like indentured servants is finally catching up to the NCAA. How can anyone expect college players to be satisfied with just getting a scholarship and free room and board at a major university that rakes in tens of millions of dollars annually from conference television deals, bowl games, and the NCAA basketball tournament? It's downright ludicrous.
Roughly 95 percent of the athletes playing football and basketball are African-Americans who come from disadvantaged homes in the inner city. These kids are the only hope their families have of escaping financial and social ruin. When these kids sign letters of intent, they are essentially giving up basic freedoms afforded to everybody else.
Unlike kids who receive full academic scholarships, student athletes must surrender their right to work. They are not allowed to hold a job. So if you're an 18-year-old wide receiver with a baby, how can you help feed and care for your child? How can society expect a young father to play football for four years without any financial benefit to his family? Even Olympians are allowed endorsement deals.
Universities should either start paying athletes or set up trusts with money earned from bowl games, basketball tournaments, and television contracts to share the wealth with the players.
Furthermore, the recent scandals at Ohio State, Oregon, North Carolina, and other major schools show it is virtually impossible to keep tabs on what very single student athlete is up to. You can't punish them because they are acting their age. Seriously, what 19- or 20-year-old would turn down free drinks at a nightclub or a boat outing on Biscayne Bay?
But the boosters like punk ass Nevin Shapiro who corrupt the student athletes definitely know better. Shapiro knew he was using UM football and basketball players and coaches to build a name for himself. So if anybody deserves to be sanctioned and put on a leash by the NCAA and university honchos, it's the people who pour money into the athletic programs to get access to the players. Ban all boosters who run amok like Shapiro from interaction with the student athletes. Any booster who violates that rule gets kicked out of the university for life.
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It's time to emancipate collegiate athletics.
Follow Luke on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.