Just ahead of the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the NCAA released a commercial which tries to depict a day in the life of a student-athlete. It’s been on heavy rotation ever since.
However, many former NCAA student-athletes think the commercial is nowhere near a true representation of college life for athletes — and they’ve not been shy talking about it.
The athletes feel frustrated and exploited by a system — and especially a tournament — that helps generate billions in revenues for the NCAA but generates no money for athletes.
The commercial shows a black male basketball player going to class, working out, socializing, playing a game and then happily hitting the sack.
“If you have the talent and dedication to succeed in school and in sports,” a man says in a voiceover, “we’ll provide the opportunity.”
The responses on social media have been ruthless. Former Texas A&M and former Lakers guard Alex Caruso quipped: “Y’all paid the actors in this more than the student-athletes.”
First the commercial.
Now the responses, led by ESPN NFL analyst Emmanuel Acho’s “version” of the spot.