Two of the best individual athletes playing collegiate athletics are in hot water with the NCAA.
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, arguably the best player in college football, is expected to be given a four-game suspension by the NCAA over a loan given to him by a family friend to help his girlfriend fly to the Rose Bowl last year to watch him play. In the land of college hoops, James Wiseman, the potential top overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is in a legal battle with the NCAA currently as Penny Hardaway, Memphis’ coach, assisted Wiseman and his family’s move to Memphis in 2018, and as such the NCAA views Penny as a booster.
Wiseman has issued a restraining order against the NCAA and will continue playing amid the impending legal battle over his eligibility, while Young sat out Ohio State’s game against Maryland on Saturday. Both situations brought to light the issues so many have with the current NCAA model, as these two elite players were simply trying to better their family situations (one in moving to Memphis and the other getting his family to watch him play in the Rose Bowl) and are now facing significant punishment for it. Jalen Rose and LeBron James, both outspoken critics of the NCAA, voiced their problems with both rulings in recent days.
— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) November 9, 2019
The fact Chase Young even had to borrow money from a family member just so his girlfriend could come see him play in one of the biggest games of his life(🌹 Bowl) should tell you all you need to know. And since y’all always wanna know more he paid it back to his family member. 🤦🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 9, 2019
While these aren’t new rules by any stretch, every time a story like this comes out it only further illustrates how ridiculous those rules in place are, and further the support for opening up name, image, and likeness opportunities for these athletes that otherwise are struggling financially. Players getting help to move their families or fly those close to them to see them play in big games seems like the kind of thing that should be allowed. The Young situation, in particular, seems absurd, while the Wiseman issue feels very Reggie Bush-like, and we’ll have to wait to see what details come out of that.
No matter what, though, the lines have been drawn and the NCAA as a whole seems to be losing support by the day for operating as they long have.