Republican Senator Rand Paul recently made a comment with racial overtones towards college basketball players, as he discussed how college athletes profit off their name, image and likeness.
“Many of us loved watching amateur athletes that weren’t paid. Now everybody that plays basketball in college is gonna be driving a Bentley or a Rolls [Royce],” Paul said. “I mean, we’re gonna be seeing rap stars instead of basketball stars. I mean, this is crazy!”
That comment left Jay Bilas, who is never shy to share his pro-NIL views, to wonder why Paul hasn’t been called out more for the disparaging comments he made.
“To be kind, it was racial undertones. It was overtones. And it was a pretty clear dog whistle,” Bilas said. “So I didn’t care for it. I’m surprised he hasn’t been called out on it more to date, just like Tommy Tuberville was with the ridiculous things he said recently.”
“Who cares what the players drive?” Bilas continued. “Why do you care what the players drive? And all the people who are talking about, they don’t like money in college sports, they didn’t complain over the last 45, 50 years when revenues have gone through the roof and coach’s salaries have gone through the roof…it strikes me as crazy that so many free market libertarians, they’re saying, ‘Oh but this one segment, no free market for you. Everybody else, we want the free market, but we don’t want it for you.’
“It’s almost immoral, it’s so ridiculous that it gets to being immoral that we want to restrict college athletes only and say, ‘well, they get a scholarship.’ But look at all the non-athletes that get scholarships…and they can make whatever money they want.”