I don’t know if you heard about Zion Williamson’s injury last night, caused by one of his shoes literally falling apart. Shoe deals are one of college athletics’ abominations, purely for the financial benefit of schools and coaches, with the product forced on the student-athletes, regardless of quality.
Even if you’re a staunch defender of amateurism, I don’t see how you can begrudge this small gesture.
First, remember that, no matter what silliness you’re told, NCAA amateurism is not a purely ‘no-pay’ amateurism. The NCAA bylaws say that any player benefit, pay, or special arrangement is perfectly fine if “expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.” The NCAA can vote to provide all players with candelabras, or pickup trucks, if it wants.
Zion Williamson got hurt not just while wearing a shoe provided for the commercial profit others enjoyed: the cause of Williamson’s injury was the shoe. He provides the promotion, with no pay; he should not be required to assume all the cost of injury. NCAA legislation should be immediately passed to require that any D-1 school shoe or apparel contract include a provision mandating that the shoe or apparel provider fund loss-of-value insurance for any basketball or football player.
It’s not like the bastards can’t afford it.