“60 Minutes” on March 26th offered an unfiltered and rarely seen introspective on Charles Barkley, and what he has seen change in society over the last few years. Needless to say, he is not thrilled with the way society has evolved and adjusted. When the topic turned to college sports he became visibly irate. “It’s a travesty and a disgrace. I’m so mad now how we can mess up something that’s so beautiful.”
“In the next three to five years, we’re going to have 25 schools that’s going to dominate the sports because they can afford players, and these schools who can’t afford or won’t pay players are going to be irrelevant.” The longtime NBA great and as of late broadcasting legend could not be more accurate.
On March 19th CBS’ Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg interviewed the new NCAA president, Charlie Baker about the changes coming for the NIL as well as college athletics. This interview and the response about changing things for athletes especially did not sit well with Barkley.
“Did he say we’re going to ask the politicians to help us? See, that p—es me off already. Our politicians are awful people. As I talked to Clark earlier because I asked him about your conversation, I would actually [like to get] people who actually care about basketball. I would put a committee together. I would love for Clark to be on the committee. Get some coaches, get some players, and let’s try to work this thing out. We can’t ask these politicians nothing.”
Barkley’s controversial opinion isn’t wrong here. For years politicians have kept a reasonable distance from athletics aside from owning a team or helping them get a new stadium built. It’s not in their best interests to get mixed up with sports, and athletes recognize that. They want those lines kept clear and unblurred. With the introduction of paying NCAA athletes for their image and likeness to promote the school things changed. Add in them getting sponsorships and endorsements from businesses, and now the whole situation has evolved.