President Barack Obama recently sat down with Huffington Post for an interview, and voiced some of his concerns regarding NCAA rules and policies.
Obama currently has a niece playing for Princeton’s women’s basketball team.
In the interview, Obama mentioned scholarships and making them be four-year scholarships, as opposed to one-year scholarships.
“An immediate step that the NCAA could take — that some conferences have already taken — is if you offer a scholarship to a kid coming into school, that scholarship sticks, no matter what. It doesn’t matter whether they get cut, it doesn’t matter whether they get hurt. You are now entering into a bargain and responsible for them.”
Obama then brought up the healthcare of players, saying that in case an injury occurs, the player is properly covered.
“You’ve got to make sure that if they get injured while they’re playing that they’re covered,” the president opined. “I do think that recognizing that the majority of these student athletes are not going to end up playing professional ball — this isn’t just a farm system for the NBA or the NFL — means that the universities have more responsibilities than right now they’re showing.”
On the subject of eligibility of the athletes, Obama said that it is not fair that the student athlete is too bound by the rules.
“What does frustrate me is where I see coaches getting paid millions of dollars, athletic directors getting paid millions of dollars, the NCAA making huge amounts of money, and then some kid gets a tattoo or gets a free use of a car and suddenly they’re banished. That’s not fair.”
On the notion of compensating the student athletes for playing, Obama questioned what this could end up doing to collegiate sports.
“In terms of compensation,” he offered, “I think the challenge would just then start being, do we really want to just create a situation where there are bidding wars? How much does a Anthony Davis get paid as opposed to somebody else? And that I do think would ruin the sense of college sports.”
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