Too much to do today to write anything substantive today (you mean, as opposed to every other day, Weiler?)
Another good twitter feed to follow for all things O’Bannon is Brad Wolverton’s.
Former Alabama receiver Tyrone Prothro has been on the stand today (following completion of testimony by Stanford economist Roger Noll).
Prothro has been testifying that supervised practices at Alabama (he was there from 2003-2005) well exceeded the twenty hour limit, that in spite of the full ride he had to take out student loans to pay living expenses and that he was certainly not there primarily to be a student. Instead, he was there to play football. I know this sounds so obvious it’s ridiculous that we’re even discussing it, but it can’t be said often enough – the NCAA *still* insists that college athletes are, first and foremost, students. Furthermore, “the NCAA also claims that prohibiting athletes from receiving money for their names, images and likenesses is key to the integration of athletics and education,” which is central to preserving their “amateur status.” In turn, maintaining their amateur status is what marks them as students. And, in the NCAA’s famously circular argument, since the athletes are students, they are amateurs. Because they are amateurs, they cannot receive compensation for their athletic performance (other than the approved compensation they receive in the form of the Grant-in-Aid).
As previously noted, Prothro isn’t the only individual associated with Crimson Tide football to question whether football players are students first.
Here’s the man himself:
“I used to go along with the idea that football players on scholarship were ‘student-athletes,’ which is what the NCAA calls them. Meaning a student first, an athlete second. We were kidding ourselves, trying to make it more palatable to the academicians. We don’t have to say that and we shouldn’t. At the level we play, the boy is really an athlete first and a student second.”