Like Frank Costanza, Charles Barkley has a lot of problems with people—the women of San Antonio, the Phoenix Suns nacho vendors, Shaq—and they’re gonna hear about it. And now, he has politicians in his crosshairs, lambasting NCAA president Charlie Baker’s “consumer protection plan” to put regulations on the NIL marketplace.
“Did he say we’re going to ask the politicians to help us?” Barkley asked disdainfully during the studio show of Thursday’s March Madness broadcast. “See, that pisses me off already. Our politicians are awful people.”
Instead of leaving NIL reform up to politicians who have no connection to college sports (and college basketball in particular), Charles Barkley wishes that the NCAA would consult with “people who actually about basketball” and “put a committee together.”
“I would love for Clark [Kellogg, Barkley’s co-host on the show] to be on the committee. Get some coaches, get some players and let’s work this thing out.”
“We can’t ask these politicians nothing. Those people are awful people—Democrats and Republicans, they’re all crooks.”
Since taking over as NCAA president this month, former Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has made it a priority to find a way to rein in NIL, which former NCAA president Mark Emmert mostly neglected to do.
It seems like the NIL crackdown has already begun. Last month, the NCAA punished the University of Miami for facilitating inappropriate contact between women’s basketball coach Kate Meier, super-booster John Ruiz and women’s basketball players/TikTok stars Haley and Hanna Cavinder. This was the first time that the NCAA had formally dealt with an NIL infraction, signaling an increased appetite to get involved in the space.