Sunday, February 25, 2024

Charles Barkley rips state of college athletics: ‘It’s a travesty and a disgrace’

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Charles Barkley made clear Sunday that he’s no fan of the current name, image and likeness (NIL) system that sees collectives essentially paying players to join their school’s programs.

Barkley, a current NBA analyst on Turner networks and college basketball analyst during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, appeared on “60 Minutes” and didn’t mince words when talking about the current state of college sports.

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Phoenix Suns former player Charles Barkley in attendance at Footprint Center. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

“It’s a travesty and a disgrace. I’m so mad now how we can mess up something that’s so beautiful,” Barkley said of today’s college basketball.

“In the next three to five years, we’re going to have 25 schools that’s going to dominate the sports because they can afford players, and these schools who can’t afford or won’t pay players are going to be irrelevant.”

The Basketball Hall of Famer had similar criticism last week after CBS’ Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg interviewed the new NCAA president, Charlie Baker, about his plans for NIL and college athletics.

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February 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NBA great Charles Barkley is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

February 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NBA great Charles Barkley is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Baker said he planned on talking to lawmakers in Washington about NIL and allowing politicians to potentially get involved. Working with politicians was what Barkley specifically took issue with.

“Did he say we’re going to ask the politicians to help us? See, that p—es me off already. Our politicians are awful people. As I talked to Clark earlier because I asked him about your conversation, I would actually [like to get] people who actually care about basketball.”

“I would put a committee together. I would love for Clark to be on the committee. Get some coaches, get some players and let’s try to work this thing out. We can’t ask these politicians nothing. Those people are awful people. Democrats and Republicans – they’re all crooks.”

Former basketball player Charles Barkley for the Auburn Tigers after their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neville Arena on March 4, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama.

Former basketball player Charles Barkley for the Auburn Tigers after their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neville Arena on March 4, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

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Baker was named NCAA president in December.

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