ESPN college basketball commentator Jay Bilas went on ESPN Radio this morning and concisely explained what’s so outrageous about the Johnny Manziel autograph scandal.
Manziel is being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly selling his autograph, according to ESPN, which would be a violation of NCAA rules and could lead to a suspension.
The rule is designed to preserve the NCAA’s system of amateurism, where athletes are supposedly treated like regular students.
But that’s a sham, Bilas says, because regular students aren’t barred from capitalising on college sports, only players are.
The kid sitting next to Johnny Manziel in class can profit off of Johnny Manziel, but Johnny Manziel can’t.
Bilas’ entire explanation:
“[The NCAA says] they’re a student like any other student. They’re a student first who just happens to be an athlete. They’re to be treated like any other student. Well the truth is the college athlete is the only person in a multi-billion business, the only student on campus, who is restricted in any way. No other person is told, ‘You get expenses only, and they are just expenses that are incidental to this multi-billion business.’ If the money keeps going up and it gets into the billions and goes higher, the tension between amateurism and the commercial-professional enterprise of college sports is going to continue to grow and we’re going to continue to have these kinds of issues.”
Here’s audio of the Bilas radio hit from SportsCenter:
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