Many of the players who paved the way for John Chaney’s inauguration into the Hall of Fame will probably travel to Springfield, Mass. this Friday.
Players like Eddie Jones, Aaron McKie, Mark Macon, Marc Jackson, etc. Some may be stuck in NBA training camps unable to pay homage to Chaney.
But the players on Chaney’s current team will have a hard time finding a way to Springfield. Because of NCAA athletic rules, the student-athletes that took Chaney to a regional final last year can not go to Springfield with school funds.
It would be unfair, the NCAA says, to let athletes get extras that normal students do not get.
The governing body wrongly assumes that getting a free ride to honor the coach many perceive as a father would be unfair too.
Not paying for the Temple basketball team to travel to Springfield is just a part of the problem in the hypocritical stance the NCAA it takes with its athletes.
The NCAA can make billions from television contracts and at the same pay the players like slave laborers. Yes, they get tuition and books paid for them. Yes, they get to travel around the nation. But, if they were to get a job that paid them over a certain nominal amount they would be breaking NCAA rules.
So, what happens?
Athletes see the golden swoosh of a pair of Nikes and steal them. Athletes make long-distance phone calls from university offices and get suspended.
To maybe resolve this, the NCAA has looked into paying athletes stipends, which may happen sooner than later.
If it does happen it will surely be met by widespread criticism. People will say that athletes shouldn’t get extra because they can dribble a ball or throw a pigskin, forgetting the fact that athletics generates billions of dollars annually.
The least they could do is send a few players to Springfield.