There have been a lot of rumblings about the current state of the student-athlete.
The MSM is littered with discussions about whether student-athletes are exploited while universities make major financial gains, or whether they are compensated properly via their scholarship and the opportunity and training provided.
We have had many of those discussions ourselves here on BN, and there is no clear cut answer.
What is clear, however, is that we seem to be arriving at a defining moment for what it truly means to be a student athlete, a "tipping point" if you will.
We first heard about Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against videogame makers and the NCAA, in which he claims that players' likeness is being used without them being properly compensated, while the universities get royalties. You can read more about this here. The suit against the NCAA is progressing but the case against EA Sports was dismissed by a judge.
It is exactly this lack of compensation that many are linking to the spread of sports scandals at universities, as witnessed in the Reggie Bush case. There seems to be a proliferation of rogue sports agents on college campuses (which takes nothing away from the fact that U$C under Cheat Carroll was a compliance clown show).
J.J. Stokes is among those who testified to a California Senate Committee about exactly what these rogue sports agents were up to on college campuses when he played at UCLA.
AP photo via cache.daylife.com
Thankfully he steered clear of these vultures and still broke the hearts of thousands of Trogans.
The temptation is great to succumb to the lure of extra money from sports agents. Our own Donnie Edwards even gave in to a bag of groceries and was suspended by the hypocrites at the NCAA. And, let's not be naive, with the number of elite athletes at UCLA, these agents are undoubtedly hanging around Westwood too.
Another Bruin great who testified was former linebacker Ramogi Huma, who is already leading the charge for change for college athletes, and said:
...scholarships need to be increased - on average about $3,000 - so athletes can cover their school-related expenses. Huma also said players should be able to profit from signing autographs or doing television commercials to help supplement their college income.
I frankly have no problem with that at all, but of course that would entail the brontosaurus NCAA to think strategically and make the appropriate changes. Universities and TV use the popularity of top athletes for their own benefit, and should think of ways to spread the wealth and create a level of comfort that will deter student-athletes from talking to rogue sports agents who in too many instances have their own interests at heart.
Then again, I'm not sure I agree with Huma on this:
"Would you rather see Reggie Bush doing a Subway commercial or giving back the Heisman Trophy?" Huma asked the committee.
Ramogi, I'd rather see him choke on a hot dog...oh wait, wrong Trogan:
Oh but I like Carson.
So, in the end, we have Bruins who take the high road to improve the system, while Trogans like Bush and McKnight just take.