If you’re a high school student who is thinking about playing sports at the college level, getting information from the NCAA might be a good place to start.
Then again … maybe not.
Last week, the NCAA posted a 30-second video on Twitter that shows a day in the life of a student-athlete.
The video became controversial, prompting many athletes to respond and publicly criticize it.
The NCAA missed its mark with the video, which I’m assuming was intended to promote the idea of students trying to balance athletics with their studies.
Another glaring issue, by many accounts, is that the video is a lie.
The athlete in the video woke up, went to class, ran, socialized with classmates, played basketball, studied then went back to sleep. Significant opposition to the video came from professional athletes who were involved in NCAA programs earlier in their careers.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted a GIF “THE LIES! THE LIES!”
Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi tweeted “BIG CAP!”
“Cap” or a hat emoji is synonymous with the word “lie.” So, saying “no cap” means “no lie.” Former NCAA athletes replying “cap” to the video means that they think it’s a lie.
Myles Turner, a power forward for the Indiana Pacers, called the video “cap of the year.”
What sort of message is the NCAA sending to prospective student-athletes? It looks like this video was an attempt to mislead students.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said that the video was “the most inaccurate thing I’ve seen in a while…” He agreed with someone else’s comment that the “athlete” in the video missed his 5:30 a.m. workout, breakfast, lunch, his second class and the tutoring session.
Texans defensive end J. J. Watt also jumped in on the conversation.
“The NCAA really doesn’t even know what a real day in the life of their own student-athletes is actually like huh?”
Then, Alex Caruso, a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, expanded the conversation when he tweeted “Y’all paid the actors in this more than the real Student Athletes.”
In 2017, former-UCF kicker Donald De La Haye lost his full scholarship because of his successful YouTube channel. His channel, which now has more than 1.2 million subscribers, brought in money. The problem in De La Haye’s case was that the videos were almost exclusively comprised of athletic content. The NCAA took issue with the fact that he was making money off his athletics-related videos.
Now, the NCAA is promoting its own video that can give unrealistic expectations to aspiring athletes. These are the same athletes who will likely go on to be commodities to make money for schools, conferences and the NCAA as a whole.
Instead of taking the NCAA’s word about how athletes carry out their day-to-day activities, I’ll be more inclined to listen to first-person accounts from the athletes themselves.