Shabazz Napier Uses Big Stage to Knock NCAA

By DJ Byrnes on April 8, 2014 at 11:28a

Shabazz Napier, who dropped 20 points on Kentucky's head last night, said before the game there are nights he goes to bed "starving."

Napier's UConn was banned from last season's NCAA tournament due to low APR scores (graduation rates). After winning the championship, Napier (and teammate Tyler Olander) again put the NCAA in the crosshairs.

From Gary Parrish of CBS Sports:

"That's the tough thing about it," Napier said. "They call us student-athletes, then they take us away from our school."


I asked UConn's Tyler Olander how often he and his teammates have been in class lately.

"Not often," he answered. "But, I mean, I don't really have class anyway because ... I only take two classes. Three days a week, I'm off."

UConn spent the better part of the last month traveling from Memphis to Buffalo to New York and Dallas. The NCAA tournament is the NCAA's bread-maker.


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Chief B1G Dump's picture

The NCAA is a joke and has not adapted to the socio-economic landscape of todays era...

When are we going to wake up and end this BS charade that is the NCAA and student athletes.

+3 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Mark Emmert will find a way to strip them of their title.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+3 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

And give it to Kentucky an SEC school

AndyVance's picture

I'm a bit conflicted about the Napier story, because there's a lot of reasons to call BS on the "starving" thing. I think most of us doubt that any D1 revenue sport athlete is not getting enough food via the school's meal plan and/or training table. Also, it's a bit disingenuous for these players - many of whom are using their school of choice specifically as a stepping stone to the NBA - to complain that they're being taken away from class to play basketball. If Napier's wanting to go to med school after he graduates, I rescind my statement, but something tells me he's got his eyes on getting drafted rather than getting his diploma.

HOWEVER, all that said, I still am highly in favor of seeing these students get a full cost-of-attendance scholarship and/or a stipend that allows them some "walking around money," because I do not see how in this day and age any D1 revenue sport athlete can have the part-time jobs and internships I had to pay my way through school. I had to work at least one and in some cases two jobs to afford school, even on top of my scholarships and student loans, and those students simply can't do that and play ball at a UConn or Ohio State.

But this whole "the NCAA is exploiting us" media narrative drives me nuts. I'm much more in tune with Ohio State's own Michael Bennett:

“I don’t necessarily agree with football players being unionized,” OSU senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said after spring practice March 27. “We don’t necessarily see the money, but we are getting a lot of benefit out of our scholarships. It just kind of seems silly to want to be unionized.”


If the members of the union want to get more of a stipend, Bennett said that much would be beneficial due to the current state of the economy.

“The cost of living’s going up and I don’t think that our stipend is going up,” Bennett said. “So obviously a little bit more money is nice, but I’m not really in the business of trying to force people to do that.”

Bennett also said: "Yeah, we don't get the same opportunities, but we can get set up for life after football if we really want to. So it's all about taking advantage of what you do  get. I don't think the union is necessarily a great idea. Everyone wants to get more money all the time, but I mean we're getting a good amount."

Right on, big guy. More of that, please, and less of the "oh, everyone is taking advantage of me and my talents," please.