College basketball players in the NCAA's March Madness Tournament call on the NCAA, lawmakers, and the US Supreme Court to guarantee equal rights and freedoms for college athletes in pivotal year.
College basketball players from over 15 teams competing in this year’s NCAA March Madness Tournament have launched a historic protest against unjust NCAA rules that deny college athletes equal freedoms and basic protections. They are calling for the following:
As part of the protest, the NCPA will arrange panel discussions with college athletes and experts to discuss unjust NCAA rules and ways to ensure college athletes are treated fairly.
The players and the NCPA are using the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty to underscore their concern that the NCAA too often treats college athletes like dollar signs rather than people. College basketball players from multiple teams protesting NCAA rules during the NCAA’s own March Madness Tournament is unprecedented and comes at a time when lawmakers and the US Supreme Court will be making decisions that will affect the freedoms and rights of generations of future athletes.
Iowa basketball player Jordan Bohannon, Rutgers basketball player Geo Baker, and Michigan basketball player Isaiah Livers held a zoom meeting last summer with players throughout the Big Ten Conference and NCPA Executive Director Ramogi Huma to discuss college athletes’ rights and challenges facing them due to the COVID pandemic last summer. The players all kept in touch. Bohannon, Baker, Livers, and a number of other basketball leaders who have since joined the NCPA, held a meeting on Tuesday evening with players from a dozen other Tournament teams and Huma to discuss launching the protest.
Huma stated, “These players are taking a historic stand to protect the rights and freedoms of generations of players to come. They are people #NotNCAAProperty.”