When it comes to player compensation, Greg Sankey can mix a fundamentally disingenuous word salad with the best of them.
“People talk about something called ‘name, image and likeness,’” Sankey said. “I’m waiting for everyone to define how that is operationalized. But, fundamentally, it goes back to this phrase ‘student-athlete.’ People take shots at it and say it was created by (former NCAA executive director) Walter Byers. Did you know we had 31 graduate patches in the national championship game? That means 31 out of about 200 players on that field already had earned bachelor’s degrees.”
Not sure what any of that has to do with the price of tea in China. If he’s suggesting that letting the players make money off something that belongs to them would corrode their ability to pursue their primary purpose in life, maybe Greg can explain how the sweet bank he takes home as SEC Commissioner has made it difficult to do his job.
The idea that it’ll be a breeze to implement an Olympic model for college athletics runs smack dab into this kind of mindset. It won’t be easy because here’s what Sankey and his constituents are concerned about: