The Twitter universe erupted in last minute controversy just before the NCAA national title game, and one of the more incendiary stories came from guard Shabazz Napier, who was quoted as saying “There are hungry nights that I go to bed…starving…I’m not able to eat and I still got to play up to my capabilities”.
This of course created a reaction but Napier’s comments were taken a bit out of context from the original story.
“We as student athletes get utilized for what we do so well. We are definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed,” the senior told reporters. “I think, you know, Northwestern has an idea, and we’ll see where it goes.”
So Napier’s comments were more along the lines that as a basketball player at a high revenue program, he and other players feel as though their talents are making some people rich while they get none of the money. This is an ongoing debate, and many UConn students jumped on Reddit to comment about the sensationalist headline, such as whether it’s actually true that college athletes at Connecticut are going hungry. Some students state that due to the athletes’ schedule, there isn’t anywhere for them to get the food from their meal plans. Other students claim that the athletes should be able to get as much food as they want, but they have better student housing located farther from where the food is available. You can read the whole debate here.
This comes on the back of comments by NCAA president Mark Emmert, who claimed that ‘converting’ student-athletes to unionized employees was something that nobody wanted (In reality, they are already employees, using the word ‘convert’ does not change the law. But that’s for another time).
However, Emmert and the NCAA can’t be happy that Napier was able to use the platform of the national title game to draw even more attention and sympathy to the issue surrounding paying the athletes that bring in billions of dollars to their coffers.
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