ATLANTA — Kylia Carter, the mother of former Duke and Pace Academy star Wendell Carter, fired off a major salvo at the NCAA on Monday, likening the "purchasing" of college players to a form of slavery.
While speaking at the Knight Commission for Intercollegiate Athletics event in Washington D.C., Carter offered a blunt assessment of the state of college sports, a far-ranging series of controversial comments that have already generated nationwide attention.
"... When I pull back the layers, the problem that I see is not with the student-athlete, it's not with the coaches and the institutions of higher learning, but it's with a system like the only system that I have ever seen, where the laborers are the only people not being compensated for the work that they do, while those in charge receive mighty compensation.
"The only two systems where I've known that to be in place is slavery and the prison system; and now I see the NCAA as overseers of a system that is identical to that."
Carter later added: "At the end of the day, talent is being purchased. Talent is being purchased. But the talented are not receiving any of the benefit. Colleges are only recruiting the talented kids for their talent. They aren’t recruiting them because they will excel academically at their institution.
"So, why is that the benefit of (athletes) going to that institution? I want them to go, but I want them to go for two years. If you're going to make them go and get something from ... why can’t they go to college and get a two-year certificate in this professional sport they're pursuing, if they are that talented?"
To be fair, an NCAA commission recently endorsed the notion of prodigious basketball talents being allowed to enter the NBA draft immediately out of high school—an eligibility loophole which was closed in 2005.
However, this recommendation won't hold much water, unless the NBA drops its minimum-age requirement to 18 years old, similar to 2003 and '04, when LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic) were the No. 1 overall draft selections directly out of high school, respectively.
In the new system, covering 2005 to the present, any American hoops player who had designs on entering the NBA draft at age 19 was left with two options: a) Either spend at least one year at the college level, or b) attempt to sign a contract with various professional leagues in European countries, Australia, China or Japan.
For what it's worth, Wendell Carter, a one-and-done player at Duke before declaring for the upcoming NBA draft, could be a lottery selection next month.
11Alive Sports would like to know your various opinions this hot-button topic:
**Is Kylia Carter accurate in her critique of the NCAA's current setup?
**Should college athletes be paid salaries, especially at the major-conference level?
**And if so, should only student-athletes from revenue-generating sports—such as football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, etc.—be allowed to draw salaries at the college level?