After calling NCAA ‘modern-day slavery,’ Rutgers’ Geo Baker says he meant what he stated, however regrets how he stated it

After ripping the NCAA as “modern-day slavery, “ Rutgers guard Geo Baker stated Sunday he stood by his ideas however regretted the best way he phrased them.

“I’m disenchanted within the phrases that I used however I feel there’s a much bigger dialogue that must be made,” Baker stated after Rutgers’ win over Northwestern. “The headline was three phrases that have been on the very finish of very truthful info, that we’re owned by another person.

Baker made the remarks Saturday within the remark part of an Instagram publish from a verified MarchMadness account, referring to the NCAA guidelines that prohibit athletes from taking advantage of their title, picture and likeness.

The publish, which featured a graphic with a quote from Baylor head coach Scott Drew that learn “Guys are breaking apart with long-time girlfriends to maintain the bubble tight and play video games,” had an outline that referred to these sacrifices as “next-level dedication.”

Baker responded to the publish initially with a remark that learn, “And we nonetheless ‘amateurs’” with a laughing emoji. In a since-deleted back-and-forth with one other person, Baker elaborated.

“That’s nothing in comparison with what we deliver to our colleges. Not even saying colleges ought to pay gamers. (Which already occurs anyway). However Others can create their very own enterprise and make cash off it so why would an athlete not be allowed to do this?? I’ve to signal a paper that claims my title and likeness belongs to the varsity. Modern-day slavery.”

Rutgers senior guard Geo Baker commented on a verified MarchMadness account on Instagram, the place he referred to the NCAA’s strategy to athlete compensation “modern-day slavery.” (Screenshot through @MarchMadness on Instagram).

In response to a different person, Baker added “u notice we’re taking part in in a pandemic being informed to keep away from everybody we love only for y’all leisure however i can’t promote my very own jersey with my final title on it to assist my future financially. That is sensible to u?”

Many on social media argued that the slavery comparability was too harsh.

“That was the primary time I ever answered somebody on social media emotionally, type of with out enthusiastic about what I used to be saying,” Baker stated Sunday. “If I may return, I feel I might undoubtedly have worded it in another way.

“I’m extraordinarily grateful for Rutgers. I’m extraordinarily grateful for Coach Pikiell. I’m grateful for everybody right here. It’s an amazing alternative we’ve right here, however that doesn’t imply the system is ideal. That’s what I used to be attempting to get to the purpose of. I feel the core of what I stated is fact. My title, picture and likeness (are) owned by another person. That’s simply how I view it. I’m disenchanted within the phrases that I used, however I feel there’s a much bigger dialogue that must be made. The headline was three phrases that was on the very finish of very truthful info that we’re owned by another person.

Baker added: “You see individuals with tutorial scholarships, they don’t have that drawback. We labored extraordinarily arduous for our scholarships. I’ve been figuring out for 3 hours a day since sixth grade. I really feel like everybody on our crew earned our scholarships, however we additionally earned our personal title as nicely. That’s simply (advertising) alternatives for us that we deserve. Like I stated, I’m disenchanted in my phrase selection however I additionally really feel prefer it’s a dialogue that must be made. I’m grateful for Rutgers, I’m grateful for you guys (reporters), I’m grateful for our followers. I by no means needed it to look like I wasn’t grateful for everybody. That’s not who I’m as an individual, I’ve by no means been that approach, however I nonetheless stand by most of what I stated.”

Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell stated he stood by his participant however noticed the incident as a studying expertise.

“We had an excellent discuss,” PIkiell stated. “I actually worth Geo’s opinion on these topics and the concepts that he’s attempting to deal with. I assist all of our athletes. I’ve to information them via their adolescence, particularly on this present local weather we’re in. I perceive the challenges. The challenges of this season have been quite a few: the challenges of COVID, the challenges of social injustice, all of the completely different points these guys are coping with. I additionally perceive the sacrifices they’re making to be right here.

“We’re working to raised proceed to assist our student-athletes in each approach potential with some nice, constructive dialogue. Geo is a superb consultant of Rutgers. He’s been a world-class child, a very good scholar. He most likely needs — and he informed me this — that he articulated his ideas in a special method, perhaps on a special platform, as a result of that’s a critical dialogue, and never to reply to a special publish. However he’ll reside and be taught and that’s the place we’re as lecturers. Wanting ahead to him transferring on with from this expertise and being a bit bit extra articulate in how he addresses these completely different points.”

In January, the NCAA was scheduled to vote on a proposal that will permit athletes to just accept endorsement cash for his or her title, picture and likeness — NIL — by August of 2021, however that vote was delayed indefinitely on Jan. 11 after “the chief of the Division of Justice’s antitrust division despatched a letter to NCAA leaders warning that rule adjustments may pull them deeper into murky authorized waters,” in line with ESPN.

ESPN quoted an nameless supply who stated, “We’re going to go NIL and decontrol transfers. That’s going to occur. There’s simply extra information-gathering that has to occur, particularly from the DOJ.”

Strain to permit faculty athletes to learn from their NIL has grown considerably. A number of states, together with New Jersey, have handed or thought of NIL legal guidelines, and in December, a bipartisan NIL invoice was launched within the Home of Representatives.

Thanks for counting on us to offer the journalism you may belief. Please think about supporting NJ.com with a subscription.

Brian Fonseca could also be reached at bfonseca@njadvancemedia.com.

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