The NCAA drew some negative PR after it tweeted that student-athletes participating in this year’s NCAA Tournament would be receiving free wi-fi at “all team hotels,” and Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli took to Twitter and offered quite the zinger at the controversial organization.
The NCAA provides free wi-fi to student-athletes at all of the team hotels during the DI men's basketball championship.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 17, 2016
The least you could do for the students making you billions https://t.co/1Ri6DvCEeb
— Festus Ezeli (@festus) March 17, 2016
Now, to be fair, free wi-fi is all well and good and something I’d love to have whenever staying at a hotel. More often than not, I need to budget my vacation to include the price of such and thus need to sacrifice some activities.
But the importance here is that Ezeli has once again said something that everyone has said for years now, but the NCAA doesn’t seem to pay any notice. College athletes make a boatload of money for the NCAA, but aren’t financially compensated whatsoever save for small cost-of-attendance stipends. In terms of all the sponsorship deals that the NCAA has, the student-athletes don’t see a cent.
So though some may feel Festus Ezeli is out of place in his comments, keep in mind that it’s a struggle he knows well, having played at Vanderbilt. Long story short, even though free internet is a nice perk, it’s nowhere near student-athletes’ true value.
Hopefully, given the public outcry over the NCAA’s tweet, some significant changes will soon be made.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports