Mrs. Kylia Carter, during a panel discussion concerning the NCAA treatment of athletes, compares the collegiate system of athletics to slavery. Now, while I am no fan of the NCAA, I find her comparison overly dramatic. As bad as the NCAA is, I know of no “student-athlete” who has been “sold” to another college. I know of no “student-athlete” who has been tied to a tree or post and whipped. I know of no “student-athlete” who has gone hungry. I could go on, but you understand the point. A sad comparison for Mrs. Carter to make.
Mrs. Carter is quoted as saying “the laborers [athletes]are the only people that are not being compensated for the work that they do….” However, her son, Wendell Carter, and three other Duke freshmen, had the opportunity for a fine education and a chance to meet the requirement of being out of high school for a year. Her son also had the opportunity to display his skills to professional teams. He is expected to be a high pick in the June draft. In my mind his year has paid high dividends.
Mrs. Carter goes on to say, “When you pull back everything, you [NCAA] want to find a way to legally purchase the talent of an athlete and not compensate him for it financially. Compensate him by affording him an education that he did not ask for and giving that to him and telling him it will be beneficial to him when the talent is all you wanted from him anyway.”
Mrs. Carter, who has a Master’s Degree should know and appreciate and applaud the benefits of an education, especially one that can be gained at a school such as Duke University. However, her son, it seems, attended Duke for one reason, and the June NBA draft will show if his reason was sound. When Mrs. Carter praises Duke as being a fine experience for her son and “everything that he needed it to be for him to come to the next level,” she shows her hand and how Duke was used, not her son.
Mr. David Robinson has a son who plays for Duke and was on the same panel with Mrs. Carter. Mr. Robinson is quoted as saying that he did not like the fact that Wendell “had to go to Duke, but he did.” Now, was young Wendell forced to go to Duke? No, he just attended to satisfy that pesky NBA rule for young draftees to be out of high school for a year. (think Moses Malone)
And, the issue of race rose. Mr. Jay Bilas, a former Duke star, mentioned that no one complained when Jordan Spieth, a white golfer, left the University of Texas after one season and turned professional. He’s correct! And no one complained when Tiger Woods left Stanford after two years to turn professional.
Mrs. Carter, who played college basketball, offered several suggestions for the NCAA. One was that colleges offer two-year degrees “based on preparing athletes for life as a professional.” Yet, once again, by using the NCAA for her son’s advantage, she is supporting the very system she compares to slavery. However, her son could have attended a community college, earned the same type degree (economics for a suggestion), while playing semi-professional basketball or working.
There is much wrong with the NCAA and that root is money. Too much money. And that money trough feeds many. It feeds the organization itself, the broadcasting system, the colleges, the coaches, the apparel manufacturers, the agents, the fans, and the parents who use it as a step on the ladder of whatever next level is dreamed.