UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen recently made some controversial comments during his interview with the Bleacher Report.
“Look, football and school don’t go together,” he said. “They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs.”
Football season hasn’t even started, but he’s expected to be the No. 1 overall pick. Once news spread about his comments, many analysts and pro players included have spoken out against Josh. The most notable backlash was from Cardale Jones, who made similar claims not too long ago, before changing his tune.
But Josh didn’t just make a whimsical claim. Last year, he put a light on the longstanding issue with the NCAA by elaborating further in an interview with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.
“If they want to call it an amateur sport, hire amateur coaches, don’t have TV deals. Don’t have 100,000 people in the stands and don’t sell tickets.”
Rosen feels that the NCAA is more focused on earning money than providing an education, as he explains to the Bleacher Report.
“Okay, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers,” Rosen said.
It’s a valid point. The debate between the NCAA and athletes has picked up over the past few years as complaints have been made by students with a platform. One of note is Shabazz Napier, who in 2014, shortly before winning the NCAA Men’s Championship, said “There are hungry nights that I go to bed, starving.”
Whether it’s football, basketball, or any other sport, athletes must not only maintain their grades just to stay in school, but must also perform at a high level or risk losing their scholarship to someone else. Although the coaches can freely switch schools, leaving their recruits high and dry and the schools can take away a player’s scholarship for something so simple as lack of performance. It sounds quite similar to people who lose their jobs due to lack of performance, but we’re talking about student-athletes so it’s different.
And for those who think an athletic scholarship lasts four years, think again. These scholarships must be renewed every year. So while a collegiate athlete signs a letter of intent setting in stone their four-year commitment to the school, the college can get out of their deal after only one.
Some would argue that a college education is worth more than playing sports and that student-athletes should remember what comes first, as they’re getting a free education.
However it’s also important to note that nothing is free. These student–athletes wouldn’t even be entitled to this kind of education if they weren’t athletes. In fact, UCLA QB Josh Rosen was unable to take a course only offered during one spring because it conflicted with football and he’s only able to attend school because of his football scholarship, so football is the priority. The truth is, for student-athletes, you couldn’t become a student if you weren’t an athlete first.
[Featured Image by Jae C. Hong/AP Images]