Saban is Right: Alston Decision has Ruined College Sports as we Know It.

NCAA vs. Alston allowed for College Athletes to earn money through image and likeness deals, however, it’s harming the college sports world’s “Non-Funded Sports”

The unanimous landmark decision in 2021 for the Supreme Court in NCAA v. Alston has allowed for NCAA athletes to gain compensation through Name, Image, and Likeness deals with commercial companies and opportunities. However, Nick Saban testified on congress that the decision has pretty much ruined the sports world by turning college athletes into prima donnas and thinking that the world revolves around them. On the same level, it does harm the fan and non-revenue sports that aren’t gaining that much traction or have the financial means due to the fact they’re not popular to watch, or don’t have a cornerstone television contract that puts them on regular terrestrial television (I.E. College Baseball). College basketball and football are the only two major sports in the college scene that have huge television deals and contracts with the major mainstream networks. College baseball, despite the sport in general being America’s pastime, does NOT have the large television contract that “funded sports” do which I do find rather strange.

The player wants a cut of that money because they believe they deserve it and also believe that they should be able to unionize just like a major league team does. The modern sports fan however does not believe that paying college athletes is necessary because they’re already getting free room and board, a scholarship, private tutors to maintain their grades, and ways to skip classes without it harming their grades. Most non-athletes who are in the field of high intelligence may even do the work for those players.

These players who play in these college leagues in hopes of earning millions and having the financial means and security necessary to have their big house, supercar, and all the good things that a blue-collar or white-collar person wishes they would be able to attain just by hard work. The Alston decision gave players the leg up necessary against the NCAA to get that “starting cash” before they go to the big leagues. No college athlete should be earning millions of dollars before they even step foot on the big-league field. 

Nick Saban’s testimony to congress does bring truth to light about how players have taken advantage of the decision by the Supreme Court. Saban says the NCAA is coddling players and that is the truth. The organization is babying players and preventing them from getting a good education knowing FULL WELL that not every athlete will make the major league divisions of sports (Football, Baseball, Hockey, Soccer, and Basketball). The blind eye towards a good education has gone on long enough and the NCAA should be held accountable for the failures of the scholarships of athletes but also the athletes need to be punished as such.

What we’re seeing is from funded sports like basketball and football is: “I got an image to uphold” or “I’m trying to make it to the big leagues, I haven’t got time for classes” because athletes think they’re too good for their education and have their head in the clouds saying: “Man, I’m going to be a first round pick, going to have my big time contract, get my 30,000 square foot mansion, my Ferrari, a music contract…”

The NCAA needs to put more emphasis on players maintaining their education with a minimum standard of GPA (3.0) that needs to be upheld as a requirement to maintain the scholarship and it is akin to a contract in sports. Not only does this have to be paramount for the player and school in regard but to the younger crowd who will look up to them in the future. There also needs to be a “check” on players to make sure that they are attending classes as terms and conditions to their scholarship. I believe wholeheartedly that the NCAA does not care about their athletes’ accomplishments or education to maintain their scholarship in an attempt for them to have something to fall back on.

Another thing the NCAA needs to do is run a check of the highest division in sports, Division I, regarding their athletes’ attending classes and maintaining the parameters and conditions of their scholarship. The scholarship is technically a contract with terms and conditions that apply to them keeping it. I remember when the NCAA actually cracked down hard on colleges that saw players skip classes and take paper courses just to maintain their grade. Southern Methodist University and Centenary College lead to mind.

Paper courses pretty much allow the athlete to just pussyfoot through school without even having to attend the class, thereby giving them the degree they didn’t earn through hard work and self-preservation. Someone needs to blow the whistle on these athletes.

The NCAA should have very stringent standards on colleges providing scholarships. Athletes should be held to rules.

  1. Education and development of their soft skills.
  2. Maintaining a specific GPA (3.0 – B-average)
  3. Maintaining attendance in classes that they are signed up for with strict professor evidence. After all, they are full-time students and part-time athletes.
  4. Project demonstration and thesis in regards to their degree

Education should always be front and center of that of a college athlete’s career. It is 4 years long.

Charlie Baker should initialize a task force or a committee panel to maintain oversight of major college programs to be sure that athletes are upholding the “contract” parameters. If not, then the college should face some sort of punishment. The blind eye towards education and more on making the college look good because they produced a superstar athlete without the education that they get through a scholarship needs to end promptly.

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Joshua Leuschner

Orioles/Ravens/Capitals/Terrapins/Inter Miami CF fan. Runs a podcast who tells it like it is (I-95 East Coast Sports Podcast) and loves sports, sports betting (responsibly of course), and finding arcane statistics in professional sports. He is also a devoted classic cartoon enthusiast (1930s rubberhose and 1940s-1960s silver/golden age animation), video game player, Enya enthusiast, devotee of classical music (Mozart, Sibelius, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and others), Hair/Classic/80s Rock fan, beer connoisseur, gym goer, former Slow Pitch Softball Player, and traveler.

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