NCAA Players Protest #Not NCAA Property
With March Madness in the air and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament underway, several Big Ten upperclassmen are speaking out regarding their treatment by the NCAA and the control the organization has over their lives — including their names, images, and likenesses. Declaring that they are not the NCAA’s property, these players have launched their protest under the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty.
With the support of the National College Players Association, Rutgers basketball player Geo Baker, Iowa basketball player Jordan Bohannon, and Michigan basketball player Isaiah Livers, launched the protest with Baker tweeting the following in support of the protest:
“The NCAA OWNS my name image and likeness. Someone on music scholarship can profit from an album. Someone on academic scholarship can have a tutor service. For people who say ‘an athletic scholarship is enough.’ Anything less than equal rights is never enough. I am #NotNCAAProperty. The argument is simple, we deserve an opportunity to create money from our name, image, and likeness. If you don’t agree with that statement, then you are saying that you believe that I, a human being, should be owned by something else.”
The National College Players Association says their support of the protest is meant “to underscore their concern that the NCAA too often treats college athletes like dollar signs rather than people.”
The athletes have declared four requests:
- By July 1, changes to NCAA rules to allow all college athletes the freedom to secure representation and receive pay for use of their name, image, and likeness,
- A meeting with NCAA President Mark Emmert,
- Meetings with state and federal lawmakers regarding laws to ensure physical, academic, and financial protections for college athletes, and
- That the Supreme Court rule in support of college athletes in NCAA v. Alston “and to not give the NCAA any power to deny us equal freedoms”.
Other players have joined the conversation including Rutgers player, Luke Nathan, who says he pays full tuition and does not receive a scholarship, yet his name, image and likeness are owned by the NCAA.
The argument of players being paid for their name and image has been around for a long time and has been one that has been reviewed for its pros and cons. A reporter recently tweeted that the players should “be grateful” which garnered an immediate reply from Baker:
“Think you can definitely be grateful to play this game while also understanding there’s more that should be on the table. Players ISOLATED entire year to help make this tournament happen. NCAA: rewarded w/ $900 million. Players: rewarded w/ free deodorant and small boxed meals.”
Through the years. many have urged the NCAA to change its rules as lawmakers take a closer look at their practices. Six states have passed laws that make the NCAA’s current rules on amateurism illegal in the future, and others are making their way through state legislatures.
On March 31, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of NCAA v. Alston, in which it will consider whether the NCAA’s limits on compensation for student athletes violate the nation’s antitrust laws.
More college players have joined the conversation including Rutgers’ Luke Nathan, who says he pays full tuition and does not receive a scholarship, yet his name, image, and likeness are owned by the NCAA. He is joined by other college basketball players as well as players from other sports in sounding the alarm to support the hashtag.