A number of former NCAA stars have joined a film project about student-athlete exploitation, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
The project, at the helm of which is California high school coach and former LSU wide receiver Abram Booty, has generated enough buzz to get some big names involved; most notably former Heisman winner Desmond Howard, two-time Super Bowl Winner Ray Lewis and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, also a Super Bowl winner.
Booty, whose brothers Josh and John David played college football at LSU and USC, respectively, was inspired to make the film after seeing former USC Dwayne Jarrett barely have any money to pay for McDonald’s after being named MVP of the 2005 Rose Bowl.
Booty himself further elaborated:
“What flowed out was a culmination of years of stories — kids from single family homes, sons of farmers, friends with long term injuries, players who felt the heartbreak of losing a coach they trusted in the middle of their career, teammates suspended for taking ‘improper benefits’ in the form of food or clothing,” writes Booty on his Kickstarter page. “I had seen it all. As I sat and wrote, I combined my real experiences into the characters I developed. Each one intended to address a core issue of the NCAA system.”
Granted, most schools have been increasing their cost-of-attendance stipends doled out to student-athletes, but that doesn’t make the elephant in the room go away.
Colleges spend millions and millions of dollars on new stadiums, administrative salaries, training facility upgrades and the like and how much of that do the players see outside of the small percentage that goes towards cost-of-attendance stipends? Not a cent, and more and more people besides Booty are calling for changes.
Hopefully, with some big names signing on for this film, the NCAA will finally be pressured into giving its student-athletes what they deserve: a bigger piece of the action.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports