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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

October 13, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Former UW standout Bobby Jones calls NCAA hoops “modern-day slavery”

I’ve been following ex-Washington Husky Bobby Jones’ blog My Adventures and Beliefs while in Italy since reading a nice Q&A he had with MontlakeMadness.com.
In his most recent blog post dated Oct. 1, Jones compares big-time NCAA basketbal to “modern-day slavery.”
Here’s one long snippet: “Lets say you’re lucky enough to use that craft you been working on to get a free education and go to college. You should be thankful right? You should, but at the same time what you sign up for is having other people telling you what you going to do from the moment you wake up till about 6-7pm at night (which is the whole day). If you’re lucky, for four years you are going to deal with this. If for some reason you don’t perform like our coaches think you should or capable of or even worse, they just want to get rid of you. Your scholarship will not get renewed for the following year and they will send you on your way. Sounds like modern-day slavery if you ask me. It also sounds like a job but you don’t get paid for it even though you’re making the institution a (expletive) load of money (depends what sport you play as well). If it isn’t a business then why do coaches get fired if the team loses? Why do they get hired for millions of dollars to help a team win? Winning brings in money for the colleges. From television contracts, to the selling of school apparel, ticket sales, and concession stands revenue, its about money. The big “pay day” for the colleges comes if you make the NCAA tournament or a bowl game. They say you’re an amateur athletes but that’s only because you aren’t getting the money you generate from it, I can’t help but think of the word “slavery” again. Free education your saying again right? Some colleges don’t even care if you graduate, just as long as you can stay eligible to play for the upcoming season, sad but true.”
Okay, a little perspective before critics begin bashing him. Jones gives this topic plenty of thought. He presents a rationale and sensible argument. And he holds a position that many athletes have spouted for a very long time.
His opinion may not be popular with fans or students saddled with $60,000 in student loans. It’s certainly provocative and a little controversial. There’s a little bad language here and at the end he gets off topic with a whacky discussion on women stereotyping athletes, but all in all it’s a pretty good read.
Agree or disagree, Jones has always spoken his mind.

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