With the NCAA embroiled in another scandal regarding players getting paid, one of the most prominent NBA players to skip playing in college is speaking out against the embattled organization. On Tuesday, LeBron James said that he didn’t know if the NCAA could be fixed, and also called it corrupt.
That’ll go over well. Here’s the first quote, via ESPN.
“I don’t know if there’s any fixing the NCAA. I don’t think there is,” James said Tuesday. “It’s what’s been going on for many, many, many, many years. I don’t know how you can fix it. I don’t see how you can fix it.”
And here’s LeBron’s quote about the NCAA being corrupt, which came up when he talked about his kids potentially heading into college basketball and how he and his family would deal with the situation.
“I’m not a fan of the NCAA,” James said. “I love watching March Madness. I think that’s incredible. I’m not a fan of how the kids don’t benefit from none of this, so it’s kind of a fine line and I’ve got a couple boys that could be headed in that direction, so there’s going to be some decisions that we as a family have to make. But I know as the NBA we have to figure out a way that we can shore up our farm league and if kids feel like they don’t want to be a part of that NCAA program, then we have something here for them to be able to jump back on and not have to worry about going overseas all the time I guess.
“We have to figure that out, but kids getting paid is nothing new under the sun. You all seen ‘Blue Chips’? It’s a real movie, seriously. … The NCAA is corrupt, we know that. Sorry, it’s going to make headlines, but it’s corrupt.”
James also shot down the “free education!” talking point that frequently gets brought up when the topic of player compensation comes up, citing the fact that schools bring top-tier players onto campus so they can win championships on the field, not in the classroom.
“Obviously, I’ve never been a part of it, so I don’t know all the ins and outs about it. I don’t know all the rules and regulations about it, but I do know what five-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football,” James said. “I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids. … I’ve always heard the narrative that they get a free education, but you guys are not bringing me on campus to get an education, you guys are bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship, so it’s just a weird thing.”
The NCAA likely won’t be budged based on LeBron’s comments. But when the most famous basketball player on the planet, who didn’t need the NCAA to make him into the player he became, speaks, the organization should listen.