As a result of the FBI’s probe into corruption and fraud in college basketball, there have been numerous conversations regarding amateurism and the role/effectiveness of the NCAA. Plenty have been critical of the governing body of collegiate athletics, and on Tuesday Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was emphatic in discussing his thoughts about the NCAA.
James believes that the NCAA is a corrupt organization, and he’s not sure that there’s a way to fix things either.
“I don’t know if there’s any fixing the NCAA,” James said Tuesday morning. “I don’t think there is. It’s what’s been going on for many, many, many, many years, I don’t know how you can fix it. I don’t see how you can fix it. I don’t know all the ins and outs about it. I don’t know all the rules and regulations about it, but I do know what five-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football. I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids.
“I’ve always heard the narrative that they get a free education, but you guys are not bringing me on campus to get an education, you guys are bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship,” James continued. “…the NCAA is corrupt, we know that. Sorry, it’s going to make headlines, but it’s corrupt.”
While some will look to detract from James’ statement by pointing out that he did not play in college, as he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft out of high school, that doesn’t mean he never experienced the recruiting process.
And while receiving an education is supposed to be part of the process for college athletes, their value in the current system is just as much (if not more) about what they can do to win games and thereby improve revenue for the schools they represent. However, it should be noted that the NCAA is serving as the representative of its members. If the NCAA is going to be called out for its practices, so should its member institutions.