Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood Says NCAA Has ‘Tinge of Slavery’ in Its Treatment of Players

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Hall of Fame basketball player Spencer Haywood recently said that, since college basketball players are not allowed to get paid, they are treated with a “tinge of slavery.”

The former player who shot to fame as a member of the 1968 Olympic basketball team, recently told Sporting News that he thinks there is a “tinge of slavery” in how the mostly black players are treated in college sports, according to USA Today.

Haywood insisted that he agrees that there is a “racial component” to the rules set up to restrict college players from having more mobility in their sport.

“Let’s think about it,” Haywood said. “If you have 11 blacks on your team and you are, say, in Kentucky, and they’re creating all this wealth but not getting paid? It does have a tinge of slavery.”

“It is what it is. It is very racist because they’re not helping the communities where those kids come from, Chicago and Detroit and so on,” he added.

The 68-year-old is also famous for filing an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 that successfully challenged the league’s eligibility rules.

Haywood also said that he feels that the siren call of “education” is not sufficient compensation for players. He said that players need to be better regarded for their playing ability.

“You can’t expect people to continue to work for nothing on a false hope of, ‘Well this is about education, we are getting you an education, we will feed you,'” Haywood said. “It sounds a little like 400 years ago, like slavery. ‘Stay in your hut. Stay in that little house. We’ll give you some food. You do all of the work. All of it. And I am telling you that I will take care of you.'”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.