Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones took to Twitter on Monday for a sharp rebuke of the NCAA, saying he was “so happy to be done” with the organization and its strictures on athletes. Jones specifically mentioned the NCAA’s position on amateurism, though he said his comments went deeper than that issue.
While it’s undoubtedly a popular notion, Jones was greatly exaggerating the appeal of paying college athletes. A YouGov poll from 2015 showed a belief by 56 percent of US adults that scholarships, room and board were sufficient compensation for student-athletes. That belief has been criticized by experts and athletes, notably including superstar NFL defensive back Richard Sherman, who argued that the time constraints of college athletics gave him no time to seriously pursue his education while playing at Stanford. (Sherman later returned to finish his degree.)
While Jones didn’t speak beyond the unpaid use of his likeness by the NCAA, the tweet comes in the wake of several Ohio State players, as well as their Big Ten counterparts, sounding off about the NCAA’s proposed ban on “satellite camps,” or football camps run by NCAA programs outside their facilities. Current Michigan tight end Khalid Hill lamented the potential end of vital exposure for overlooked athletes:
Mike Webber Jr. of Ohio State echoed his concerns:
Donnie Corley of Michigan State included his own experience:
Rising senior Donovan Peoples-Jones added similar thoughts:
Sound Mind Sound Body, a satellite camp in Detroit mentioned in several players’ statements, had been attended by thousands of Detroit-area high school players and resulted in exposure for little-seen athletes. The camp’s future is up in the air following the proposed ruling by the NCAA.
Cardale Jones left Ohio State following the 2015 season to enter the NFL draft early, after a career that included incredible stretch winning the Big Ten Championship, CFP playoff game, and CFP Championship Game in his first three starts after beginning the season as the third-string quarterback. CBS Sports ranks him sixth among quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class and projects him to go in the third to fourth round. While NFL players have previously suggested that outspoken stances have hurt their playing prospects, it’s unlikely that Jones will see his draft stock impacted by his stance.