Nigel Hayes Makes Statement vs. NCAA
— Badger Beat (@BadgerBeat) October 15, 2016
Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes is one of the most outspoken athletes in sports currently. He’s been that way since Hayes began his journey with Wisconsin. Hayes was part of a lawsuit against the NCAA in his early years with Badgers and continues to speak out against the injustices of not playing athletes. NCAA has a real issue with the lack of compensation for athletes, and it’s more of a gray area than people think it is. Although, how the NCAA hasn’t figured out how to play athletes for royalties like jerseys, appearances, etc is beyond me. High profile players like Hayes would be making an adequate living. Further, if the NCAA allowed jobs whilst playing, Hayes and others could make real coin including learning what life is like outside the sports world.
When I see Hayes came to College Gameday with a sign referring to him being broke, I have a harder time than most buying into what Hayes is selling the public. I get that it’s a statement against the NCAA, but we forget Hayes had a chance to leave Wisconsin to make real money in NBA. After his sophomore year where he lit up the NCAA’s, draft boards projecting him in the late first round, early second. IF Hayes got picked 28th in the 2015 NBA Draft, he would have made $928,000 dollars his first year, second year -$966,000 and over a million in this third year. Now, you could argue if he wasn’t a first-round pick, it’s not a guaranteed contract yet the landscape changed to give second round picks real money to keep them around for years to come.
Hayes should keep speaking out against the NCAA. That’s his right and no one should try to quiet him. But let’s remember Hayes made a choice to stay and live off his scholarship versus going to the league.