The Optics of No Extra Year Of Eligibility for Men’s Basketball

Men’s basketball players, who would have made the 2020 NCAA and NIT tournaments should receive something. I’m not really sure what that might look like. An extra year of eligibility? A cash settlement? Either way men’s and women’s basketball college athletes deserve something! The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), or whomever made the decision to provide athletic departments with the option to provide spring college athletes, who missed their 2020 season, with an extra year of eligibility, missed one very important race and gender dynamic.

The NCAA basketball tournament accounts for 85 percent of NCAA revenues. Although the NCAA may not have collected their cash this year - they have collected billions during the time 2020 basketball seniors have been in school. The money these men, who are mostly Black, generated covers ALL the expenses for the spring sports and spring sports include mostly White males and females (with a meaningful number who can pay their own way). Not only have these Black males helped to pay for spring sport athletes four years of college, but now they will get another year athletics and academics (or a year of graduate school) in the process.

Maybe not all men’s basketball (and women’s basketball for that matter) college athletes deserve another year – maybe just those who were sure to make the 2020 NCAA or NIT tournaments, but the optics are bad here… but some optics in college sports have always been concerning.

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