RICHMOND- Is there any more proof needed to hate the NCAA?
Leave it to the highest organization of collegiate athletics to find a way to rake your last nerve, like only THEY can.
You can’t make money to help your family, you can’t profit of your likeness, and you can’t even hold a fundraiser targeted towards helping coronavirus victims.
What? What was that last statement? You heard it right.
Ask Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence about that. The highly touted Tigers star and his girlfriend, Anderson University soccer player Marissa Mowry, recently started a GoFundMe page attempting to raise money for people affected by the current world-wide disease.
The page raised more than $2,600. Now the page is no longer accepting donation. Why? Enter the NCAA and its master’s degree in hypocrisy.
Reason why? “Accordance to the organization’s rules prohibiting the usage of name, image and likeness for crowd funding campaigns”.
The couple planned to donate the money to Meals on Wheels and No Kid Hungry.
Lawrence released a statement following the NCAA’s ruling.
“Thank you guys, all of y’all that donated. It’s really much appreciated. It’s going to help some kids and some elderly [people] somewhere, so it’s going to be very helpful,” Lawrence said in a post on Mowry’s Instagram account. “So we really appreciate y’all. Sorry for all of the drama and all of the confusion but we got it worked out.”
This latest incident only moved the billion dollar industry up the ladder consisting of the most hated groups in America. And this is certainly not the first time the NCAA showed their level of pettiness.
Everywhere you look, rules and new precedents are arbitrarily created. Then, they are ignored when it suits their goal of maximizing revenues, often at the expense of college athletes.
The NCAA is known to blow their whistle because any sales or fundraisers can cost them potential revenue from other memorabilia sales.
Instead of helping student-athletes through financial issues or medical expenses, the NCAA chooses to maximize its growing net assets and those of member institutions.
The NCAA has a motto: “Our purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”
Are college sports fans expected to believe this is really true? After all the incidents of petulance orchestrated by the NCAA? Not a chance.
The case of former Memphis basketball player James Wiseman is another saga where the NCAA failed to look beyond the dollar value.
Wiseman was originally ruled ineligible because of receiving $11,500 from NBA All-Star turned Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway gave him for moving expenses. Keep in mind that this was before Hardaway became the Tigers coach and recruited the 5-star center.
The ineligible decision changed to a 12-game suspension, and the ruling required that Wiseman needed to pay $11,500 to a charity of his choice. How would Wiseman gain that kind of money in a short time?
The decision would have let Wiseman return in mid-January. Ultimately, it was met with rejection from Wiseman as he withdrew from Memphis to prepare for the NBA draft after playing only three games in his entire college career.
Oh wait, what about the NCAA tournament this year? March Madness makes money right? But the coronavirus forced pretty much every sports league to shut down, so why didn’t the NCAA act on it immediately?
Forget playing games in empty arenas for your cash, this is people’s lives and health we are talking about. You say you care about the health and safety, so what took you so long?
Eventually you did cancel. Congratulations and here’s a cookie. Late to party, very late actually. Now officially uninvited.
At this point, it’s hopeless. You can’t do anything without the NCAA acting like James Dolan running the New York Knicks.
You can feel sorry for Lawrence and Wiseman and rightfully so, even though both are expected to become stars at the professional level.
But wouldn’t you rather take this time to lash out as much anger to an organization to where, a legitimate argument could made that it doesn’t care about its athletes as much as it says it does?
Saying the right words doesn’t amount to anything. Actions speak louder than words. Not just in sports, but in life.
And now the NCAA adds to its incredibly large resume, as to why it should be despised. Not allowing a fundraiser to help the sick or help your family with expenses? That’s just low.
It’s only going to get worse for the NCAA if this level of cynicism expands. A word to the NCAA: GET YOURSELVES TOGETHER.
UPDATE at 7:30ET : They didn’t ban the fundraiser………but our minds won’t be changed.