Warriors’ Draymond Green teams with U.S. Senator on op-ed about fixing college athletics
The NCAA has been looking to resume activities with more states opening up through their respective phases, but the Warriors forward and the senator from Connecticut note there is a huge difference between sports like the NBA, MLB, and NFL returning to play and college programs doing so.
As a former standout college athlete and current professional athlete, and a national policymaker and lifelong college sports fan, we are both rooting for games to resume as soon as it’s safe. But we also believe that these twin crises have laid bare for America the not-always-obvious distinction between the two classes of sports — those played by paid professionals and those played by unpaid college athletes. Now is the time to wrestle with this vanishing difference.
The eight-year Warriors veteran and Murphy pointed to the most basic of differences between the pros and student-athletes: professionals are paid to do their jobs while amateurs aren’t being directly compensated for their athletic contributions to the school. They refer to this whole setup as an “abomination” that must be fixed:
Professional athletes will no doubt bear some risk when they return to play, but they get paid. College athletes will return to the field and court with similar risks and get paid nothing. It isn’t, of course, that their labor isn’t profitable. It is immensely so, and the return of college football in the fall will make many adults who profit off college athletics very rich. But many of the schools these athletes play for will not even provide the health insurance to help pay the costs of care should an athlete get sick. This is an abomination, and it demonstrates how COVID-19 has made clear that it’s time for college sports to change the way that business is done.
The Warriors forward has been a longtime advocate for compensating college athletes, considering the NCAA has made a living off players’ likeness in advertisements and even video games back in the day. Green starred at Michigan State and went to two Final Fours and four NCAA Tournaments.
Murphy has also been outspoken about these issues. He has acknowledged the NCAA has taken a step forward by allowing their athletes to profit off their likeness, but they have a long road to go before they’re treating players adequately for the product they put on for the masses.