Do Black Lives Matter to the NCAA, as long as these Black lives continue to create revenue? In today’s era of college sports it sure seems that way. African Americans have been more athletically inclined to become professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB and even Olympians. However, many of these athletes, in order to go to the world class level of athletics, are first exploited of their talents through the NCAA system.
The issue at hand today is the inconsistent, untrustworthy, and morally bankrupt system that the NCAA is apparently proud to stand behind. Many of the African American athletes that goes through the NCAA system, and especially in the South often lead college teams on the field but stagger far behind in academics.
The NCAA recently created a television commercial stating that Black male student-athletes at Division 1 institutions graduate at rates higher than do Black men in the general student body. The statement has truth behind it if we are only speaking on the entire Division 1 level.
But, as it pertains to the conferences with actual winning football and basketball championships, million dollar bowl games, and the many Black Heisman trophy winners, it is another story.
According to Outkick The Coverage, across these 76 Division 1 universities, Black male student-athletes graduate at 5.3 percent points lower than their African American peers are not on collegiate teams. That is to say, nearly 50 percent of Black male student-athletes will not graduate within 6 years at these colleges.
It is clear to see that there is a divide between the NCAA and its dollar compared to the success of athletes both inside the classroom and on the field. The NCAA has basically taken the stance of “bare minimum.” Does the NCAA intentionally give these athletes just enough resources that they need to at least pass their classes, so that they will able to perform on game time day and continue the flow of revenue coming? Maybe.
However, graduation success and finishing through is solely up to the athlete.
But athletes are catching on to the NCAA’s game.
In late 2015, the African Americans players of the University of Missouri Football team participated in a sit out in light of the racial tension that had been plaguing the campus. They refused to participate in any game until the University’s president was removed from office, and he was, thanks to the “power” move of the athletes. Their belief was “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And based upon their actions and how they went about getting the attention of the school, it proves that without the Black Athletes the school, and more importantly the NCAA, will not be able to create the revenue it needs and wants.
At this point, the only way to catch the attention and receive proper change from the NCAA is to take away the “Black Magic.” What can we do to change this system? What can we do to make the playing field leveled?
Perhaps the NCAA should pay the players for their efforts. This would cost money, of course. But instead of doing this, the NCAA continues to choose to create grand, top notch training facilities instead giving athletes the false hope that they care.
So, to answer the question stated at the beginning, Black Lives Do Matter to the NCAA’s…wallet.
Indeed, without the talent of African American athletes there would be a drastic declined in revenue, this is not to take away from the talent of other racial backgrounds within these sports though. But it is to say that we fail to realize that Black athletes have more of the power in their hands, because they have less to lose than the NCAA.
All it takes is for a few, probably a lot more of courageous athletes to stand up and boycott playing altogether, at least until we can bring about equal change. Better yet, Black athletes should simply choose to play at HBCUs instead but that is another story.