With March Madness around the corner and the FBI investigating benefit violations at Division I schools, the debate around whether to pay college athletes is back in the spotlight.
But ACC Commissioner John Swofford told Cheddar there’s a flaw in allowing these players to profit as they would in the pros.
“I’m not a proponent of pay-for-play,” he said during an interview Tuesday. “I think we’ve got something very special in this country, that’s unique to our country, in terms of combining education with a very high level of competitive basketball and collegiate sports. And it presents a tremendous opportunity for a lot of young people.”
Swofford’s comments come as federal authorities look into collegiate basketball players at 20 top-tier schools who were allegedly getting money and other perks under the table from recruiting agents, a violation of NCAA rules.
The conference head pointed out that it’s primarily revenue from two sports, basketball and football, that funds a broad array of athletic programs. Instead, he says, the entire system needs to be revamped.
“What we need to do in this country is provide better opportunities for those individuals who aren’t interested in going to college,” he said. “If you have that interest in going professional out of high school, I think there needs to be more opportunities to do that, without having to go directly to the NBA itself, because only very, very few players are good enough to do that.”
For the full interview, click here.