In light of the investigation by the FBI on the pay-for-play scandal involving some college teams and top high school prospects in the NCAA, Lonzo Ball is no longer surprised.
In fact, if the Los Angeles Lakers rookie has his way, it’s better to get the secret out in the open.
“Everybody knows everybody’s getting paid,” Ball told reporters on Friday. “Might as well make it legal.”
The 20-year-old rookie said the system itself is very unfair for the athletes since the programs make money through merchandise and ticket sales.
“All the money that you generate, March Madness, look at all the numbers. It doesn’t really add up in my opinion,” he added.
The next obvious question then is—has he received any money from UCLA?
He quickly replied in the negative.
“My dad wasn’t big on that,” he added. “We just focused on going there and getting out.”
Ball is not the only Laker to agree with college athletes being paid for playing for their alma mater.
Coach Luke Walton said that he was extremely lucky while playing for the University of Arizona because his family was quite well off. His father, Bill Walton, won a championship with the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton didn’t have a typical collegiate experience at the University of Arizona because his family was in the position to provide financial support, but Walton is well-aware most aren’t in that position.
But he said that the universities are making a lot of money from the backs of the players. In return, the players are living on scholarship checks and are struggling to pay rent.
According to the report, the March Madness has become a virtual milking cow for the NCAA as it earns more than $900 million in revenues through merchandise, broadcast rights. Back in 2006, CBS and Time Warner forked over $10.8 billion for 14 years to exclusively air the games.
“To me, when there’s that much money involved, the players should be getting a bigger piece of that,” Walton added.