Cardale Jones sits less than three weeks out from learning his NFL fate when the draft commences in Chicago April 28. That doesn't mean he doesn't have thoughts on the tangled, often criticized and consistently confusing web of the NCAA, however.
I'm so happy to be done with the @NCAA and their rules & regulation. They do any & everything to exploited collegiate athletes.— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
The last time Jones wore an Ohio State uniform for a game was 102 days ago, when the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame 44-28 in the Fiesta Bowl New Year's Day. Jones didn't play a snap that day, having lost the starting quarterback job he won out fall camp to J.T. Barrett a few months earlier.
Jones shocked everyone when elected to return to Columbus after electrifying the college football world and quarterbacking the Buckeyes to wins in arguably the three biggest games in Urban Meyer's Ohio State tenure. Stepping in for an injured Barrett, Jones and the Buckeyes throttled No. 9 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, downed No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl/College Football Playoff Semifinal, and bested No. 2 Oregon in the National Championship.
But Jones' NFL stock fell immensely after he chose to return for his junior season — some pundits said he could have been a first-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft had he declared. A year later, Jones is a wildcard in this month's draft, but it is clear he's upset he couldn't capitalize on his popularity in a monetary fashion after he led Ohio State to the zenith of college football.
It's deeper than athletes thinking we should get paid. The @NCAA control our lives with insane and unfair rules.— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
Why shouldn't a collegiate athlete be able to use their OWN likeness/brand to benefit themselves but yet the @NCAA can sell there jerseys— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
And yes, those of you who follow Jones on Twitter: He reads your tweets and knows he used the wrong form of "their:"
@NCAA *their— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
(Let's not forget Jones' history with social media. Most people only know him for his one bad tweet from October 2012, but Jones made it a point before he left Ohio State that he did his due diligence in the classroom.)
faith and family, NOTHING is more important then education #StudentBeforeAthlete— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 2, 2015
The NCAA often makes decisions many don't understand or agree with and it isn't just about athlete rights. Meyer ripped the governing body of collegiate athletics just hours before Jones' rant about the new rules it passed regarding unlimited text messaging to football recruits and satellite camps.
Will those regulations change as a result of Meyer's public outcry? That remains to be seen.
But Jones made sure he was heard, using social media as his vehicle.
That's my 2cent on the @NCAA .It's not like that's going to change how the athletes are exploited, even tho 98% of people feel the same way— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016