The recent scandal surrounding pay-for-play in NCAA mens basketball was on the lips of all in attendance at the recent CBS-TNT NCAA Media Day. Veteran commentator Clark Kellogg was definitely among the most passionate. Here, the former Ohio State Buckeyes and NBA player discusses the need to keep everything in perspective regarding the good and bad that the NCAA has to offer student-athletes.
Theres gotta be a real fortitude because it’s is hard, man, said Kellogg regarding the patience and the determination needed to change. People resist and buck change. We all do it. Its hard, thats why it has to be great commitment, great leadership and a perseverance to stay at it. Because that rock wont erode right away. Its going to take continual hitting, hitting, hitting. All thats at stake, all the constituents have to be there.
And what about the runaway salaries of coaches? Wheres that in the equation? he added.
TSL: Do you think these coaches salaries play a factor in kids taking money?
Clark Kellogg: How could it not? HOW COULD IT NOT? So, those are the things that we gotta really look at. Im hopeful that this crisis in basketball brings these things to the surface so that people that desire to rebalance this will start to take the steps to balance this because its pretty unbalanced now.
Now, theres a lot of good. I dont want to dispel the good. Theres a number of things the NCAA is doing for student-athlete welfare. Student services, programs, development, there are a number of things that get lost in this bigger discussion. Theres a different day to deal with that, but there are things that are being done. And, this game, this tournament, is one of the great things.
CBS Sports’ Clark Kellogg had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a game of HORSE (POTUS in this case) with President Obama. See how the former pro fared against the commander in chief.
TSL: Do you think the NCAA does more good than bad?
Clark Kellogg: I know its got its issues, but when those student athletes and coaches get between those lines, theres a energy and excitement that needs to be celebrated despite the cloud. You dont stay in the house just because its cloudy outside when youve got something to do. You know it might be raining, you take your umbrella, there might be a storm, but you still focus on the task at hand.
We owe it to them to celebrate what this is for them. Now, if we have a disagreement or new information unfolds, then weve gotta address that and we will. Within the right platform and the right way. The bulk of our focus has to be on the special-ness of this tournament. We know the vast majority arent part of what the scandal represents.