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Black coaches and ex-athletes say the NCAA changes are “long overdue.”

Aug 10 2021

Black coaches and ex-athletes say the NCAA changes are “long overdue.” The NCAA recently announced that they would allow their student athletes to be paid for their name, image, and likeness (NIL) for the first time in its 115-year existence. But while many people are happy about the news, it does bring up some painful memories for some former Black coaches and athletes who had a difficult time surviving without any income and fought the association for decades. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon filed a class-action suit against the NCAA in 2009 arguing that players should be paid for their NIL, while former West Virginia running back Shawne Alston took the NCAA to court to fight restrictions on players receiving non-cash compensation for academic-related purposes like internships, study abroad programs, and computers. Meanwhile, former head men’s basketball coach at Siena College Paul Hewitt said he remembers providing winter coats for the players who could not afford one. According to Hewitt: “The NCAA has been unwilling to do something about that for decades…It has suppressed the earning potential for many athletes for so long.” (NBC News)