The NCAA has done it again! The billion-dollar non-profit organization demonstrated twice last week that it's primary objective is protecting the sham of amateurism. First, the NCAA proved that it will be dedicated to protecting their self proclaimed noble objective even when it makes no sense and hurts it's beloved "student-athletes". The NCAA's ruling in the James Wiseman case does exactly that. It makes no sense and is harmful to James Wiseman. Secondly, the NCAA demonstrated that they have no intention of allowing college athletes to "benefit" from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) anytime soon when they released their NIL compensation timeline. In their announcement, the NCAA reaffirmed that any college athlete NIL compensation will be consistent with the current "collegiate model."
The James Wiseman Ruling
The NCAA ruled that potential number one NBA draft pick, James Wiseman, will serve a 12 game suspension and donate $11,500 to charity for a transaction that transpired between Wiseman's mother and Penny Hardaway. When Wiseman was in high school Penny Hardaway gave his mother $11,500 for moving expenses. At the time, Wiseman was unaware of the transaction between Hardaway and his mother. Hardaway was not Wiseman's coach although he later became Wiseman's high school and college coach. Even though Wiseman did not have anything to do with the moving expenses Hardaway gave to his mother, the NCAA decided that he should be punished anyway. How does this make sense?
The answer is that it does not make common sense, it only makes NCAA sense. Per the NCAA's rules, it is reasonable for Wiseman to serve a 12 game suspension for something he did not do. It is reasonable to require a "student-athlete" to pay what amounts to an $11,500 fine to a charity for an "impermissible benefit". This is reasonable from an NCAA perspective because no college athlete is allowed to receive any benefit that is not NCAA approved. From a common-sense perspective, this punishment is completely irrational. A rational person would wonder why is Wiseman being punished? He did not do anything wrong. A rational person would also ask where is a "student-athlete" supposed to get that kind of money?
How Can James Wiseman get the Money Without Violating the NCAA's Rules?
Wiseman's sport does not allow him enough time to work to earn that kind of money. Perhaps, his family or a close friend could loan it to him. No, that will not work because that is not permissible, just ask Chase Young. Perhaps, random people could donate the money to Wiseman through GoFundMe like ESPN analyst Jay Williams called for people to do.
This seems like a plausible way for Wiseman to get the money. People who feel that Wiseman has been wronged could offer a helping hand. There is only one problem with this approach. Wiseman would not be able to accept the money because accepting the money would likely result in another NCAA violation. Really, what is Wiseman to do to pay this excessive fine that the NCAA has placed on him all in the name "amateurism"?
The NCAA's NIL Compensation Timeline is a Stalling Tactic
In addition to the James Wiseman decision, the NCAA showed its resistance to change when it released it's NIL timeline. When the NCAA released its very lengthy NIL compensation timeline it became clear that the NCAA is stalling. Per the timeline, the NCAA will not vote on the issue until January 2021. This should come as no surprise. After all the NCAA is only addressing the issue after being forced to.