College Basketball Players Launch #NotNCAAProperty March Madness Protest

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.

March 17, 2021

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:

  1. NCAA rule changes to allow all athletes the freedom to secure representation and receive pay for use of our name, image, and likeness by July 1st.
  2. A meeting with NCAA President Mark Emmert.
  3. Meetings with state & federal lawmakers and President Biden’s administration to pass laws to give college athletes physical, academic, and financial protections.
  4. The Supreme Court to rule in support of plaintiffs/college athletes in Alston v. NCAA and to not give the NCAA any power to deny us equal freedoms.

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.”