Over the years I have come to appreciate the NCAA. The Association has transformed, albeit slowly, it's efforts to insure the well-being of their most treasured asset - college athletes.
However, on Hump Day (August 7th 2019) the NCAA announced its requisites for agents who will represent college athletes. The list of requisites included at least one Jim Crow type provision that agents have a bachelor's degree. This provision will easily restrict close to half of the former Black NCAA men's basketball and football college athletes who helped build the multi-billion dollar industry known as college sports.
Through some Fred Sanford math the graduation rates, or the graduation success rates, or the APR's of Black male college athletes have just begun to look respectable. There was a time when the major men's basketball programs had all black starting lineups and 90 percent of the team was Black, but the programs were not graduating a single Negro.
In the aftermath of criticism by LeBron James and Chris Paul the Association responded by proclaiming… “Although some can and have been successful without a college degree, as a higher education organization, the NCAA values a college education and continues to emphasize the importance of earning a degree.
… How many NCAA athletes don’t graduate from college or get degrees in Swahili? That is a true indicator of how much the Association values education.
Thus, a meaningful proportion of Black young males will be disqualified from another NCAA wealth generating position – just as they are shut out of jobs as conference commissioners, athletic directors, and head coaches.
The NCAA, in some instances, has done a great job of making a U-turn and this Jim Crow move smells like the old NCAA – a move to exert control because the NCAA is losing control.
Maybe, it's time for Black male college athletes demand that NCAA and member institutions create a degree or track that will allow them to become an agent for college athletes, a coach, and AD or conference commissioner? Then, it's a win-win - the NCAA will truly raise its Black male graduation rates (without doing that Fred Sanford math) and Black males will get a chance at a piece of the pie and if not at least a real education.