“The NCAA’s definition of amateurism has proven to be priceless to obscenely paid coaches, athletics administrators, and colleges but has inflicted poverty on college athletes,” the report charges. It found that some football coaches’ bonuses alone were worth more than the entire scholarship shortfall for their teams.
“Rules that prohibit valuable players from accepting benefits above and beyond their scholarships set athletic programs and their players up for failure,” they say, citing the case of former USC receiver R. Jay Soward, who told Sports Illustrated last year that he took money from NFL agent Josh Luchs because his scholarship didn’t cover his food and rent costs.
“I would do it again,” Soward said. “I have four sons, and if somebody offered my son money in college and it meant he didn’t have to be hungry, I would tell him to take it.”
The recent scandal at Ohio State involved players trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos from a man at the center of a federal investigation. And the University of Miami is being investigated by the NCAA for the relationship a rogue booster and Ponzi scheme artist had with players and coaches.
Huma, who graduated from UCLA in 1999, said that he struggled to get by on his full athletic scholarship. Even though the school was providing him with three meals a day, he said, he needed to eat five or six times a day because of the calories he was burning playing football. And he wasn’t able to get any support from home.
“I got by taking toilet paper and soap at hotels, and taking out the credit card,” he recalled, adding that he had $6,000 in credit card debt when he graduated. The school did provide him with team-issued clothing, but not all of it was appropriate for everyday use, he said.
“The bottom line is that players are misled into thinking that their labor will fully pay their way through school, and they are definitely earning much less than their fair market value,” he said.
Follow Fred Frommer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ffrommer
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Reviews, insights and commentary from an eclectic observer.
The world as veteran journalist Vance Garnett sees it, and saw it.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention