Rutgers senior Geo Baker rips NCAA over athlete rights: 'Modern day slavery'

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

Rutgers senior guard Geo Baker is frustrated with how the NCAA treats athletes. Baker ripped the NCAA on Instagram on Saturday, calling the organization’s approach to athlete rights “modern day slavery.”

Baker made those comments in response to an Instagram post from the NCAA March Madness account. The post featured a graphic of Baylor’s men’s basketball coach Scott Drew. A quote under Drew’s picture read, “Guys are breaking up with their long-time girlfriends to keep the bubble tight and play games.”

Baker initially responded to that by saying “and we still ‘amateurs.’” Baker then sent at least two other messages explaining his thoughts.

Geo Baker expressed frustration with how the NCAA treats athletes. (Screengrab via @marchmadness on Instagram)
Geo Baker expressed frustration with how the NCAA treats athletes. (Screengrab via @marchmadness on Instagram)

One of Baker’s comments read:

“That’s nothing compared to what we bring to our schools. Not even saying schools should pay players. (Which already happens anyway). But Others can create their own business and make money off it so why would an athlete not be allowed to do that?? I have to sign a paper that says my name and likeness belongs to the school. Modern day slavery.”

Baker’s second comment was a response to another person on Instagram. It read:

“u realize we are playing in a pandemic being told to stay away from everyone we love just for y’all entertainment but i can’t sell my own jersey with my last name on it to help my future financially. That makes sense to u?”

Baker is in his final season with Rutgers. Through 12 games, he’s averaging 9.8 points and 3 assists.

NCAA under fire for how it treats athletes

Arguments over whether NCAA athletes should be compensated aren’t new. Debates over college athletes getting paid — or at least keeping the rights to their likeness — have been a point of contention among those who follow the game. In November, the NCAA introduced rules regarding how athletes can profit off their name and likeness. Those rules won’t go into effect until August 2021.

Even former president Barack Obama has talked about the issue. During a podcast appearance in December, Obama said he now believes college athletes should be compensated. In 2015, Obama wasn’t fully on board with the idea, saying paying college athletes could “ruin” college sports.

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