Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones is out of college and well into his 2016 NFL Draft preparations, but he’s not leaving his NCAA eligibility behind without first letting his real impressions about the organization be known.
As a freshman in 2012, Jones infamously tweeted a very pointed question towards the entire college athletics establishment, asking why he needed to go to classes when the only reason “hes come to” Ohio State was to play football. A natural follow-up question to that would be, and if I’m merely here to play football, which is a huge revenue generator for my school, where’s my cut of the money ?
Jones left Ohio State in January after his junior season of football, and is now free to actually go after the NCAA. And on Monday, he did just that, speaking out on Twitter against how the college athletics system exploits the lives of college athletes under the veil ofamateurism.
Ultimately, Jones’ arguments won’t change a thing, and actually, many people resist paying college athletes, according to an October 2015 YouGov and a March 2014 Washington Post-ABC News poll. But Jones is far from the only former college athlete to feel exploited by the NCAA system — a truth most famously laid bare by the Ed O’Bannon suit over the use of NCAA football and basketball players’ images and resemblances without compensation.
Jones’ point about the NCAA controlling the lives of its athletes bears some truth as well, as it can be and has been reasonably argued that NCAA schools unfairly control what student-athletes eat and when they can practice and play .
There are many NCAA rules, but perhaps most notable is the one that requires a player to sit out a year if he wants to transfer schools, supposedly to protect the athlete’s academic standing and allow him or her time to get used to a new campus. Many players think that’s wrong, and a March 2016 suit filed by a former Northern Illinois University punter is challenging that rule on anti-trust grounds.
Jones is clearly overjoyed to once and for all escape the NCAA, and many more big-time college athletes are likely to follow with the same degree of jubilation.
Especially when there’s life-changing money to be made at the next level — money that’s not the NCAA’s.
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