Leonard Fournette is a pretty great dude. That’s becoming abundantly clear with each passing week. He’s humble, he’s kind, and he’s a genuinely great football player. He’s basically the poster boy for the NCAA right now, so it makes sense that when he attempts to do something completely selfless for the benefit of victims of the flooding in South Carolina…the NCAA would deny him, telling him it’s a violation? Wait, what?
Yes, it turns out, the NCAA is absolutely the worst. Fournette wanted to auction off one of his jerseys with every single penny of proceeds going to be donated to help the victims of the floods. Not a single cent was going to come back to him. Here’s a kid who grew up in New Orleans, so yeah, he knows a little something about how hard it is to be the victim of massive, dangerous flooding.
All week long, LSU has been praised – rightfully so – for the way the school has bent over backwards in an effort to accommodate South Carolina when the team’s game against the Gamecocks had to be moved to Baton Rouge. Stories started coming out about LSU fans donating the hotel rooms they’d reserved in South Carolina to displaced victims, for example. And now, the face of college football in 2015 wanted to do something completely selfless to help people, the same way he’d been helped when Katrina had ravaged his hometown.
And the NCAA told him it was a violation.
Doing something completely charitable to help people in need is considered a violation by the motherfucking NCAA.
#LSU RB Leonard Fournette says the NCAA will not allow him to auction his jersey for the SC flooding relief. "Violation," he said.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 10, 2015
That’s Ross Dellenger, a beat writer who covers LSU sports for the newspaper The Advocate, reporting that Fournette was told he can’t auction off his jersey because of some bizarre decision by the NCAA that, despite the fact the money would go to the needy, it’s a violation. We’re not talking about a player trading memorabilia for tattoos here, or selling his jersey for a little extra cash. We’re talking about a great kid trying to help people in need.
And the NCAA told him no.
Let’s not talk about the fact that if you go search for an LSU jersey to purchase anywhere online, the one you’ll find has Fournette’s #7 on it, with every penny of those sales being split up between Nike, LSU, and the NCAA. What this boils down to is basically the fact that, if the NCAA can’t profit, they don’t give a good goddamn shit.
The NCAA tries to say they’re all about the student-athlete, they try to celebrate the good things that their “student-athletes” do in the community, yet when the goddamn face of college football in 2015 tries to raise money for victims, they shut him down because there’s nothing in it for them.
It’s a disgusting decision by an organization that’s incredibly corrupt and greedy, and which claims to be about the student-athletes while doing everything in its power to hold them back in the grand scheme. This feels like a great time to leave you with this special message from John Oliver, who ripped apart this terrible organization not so long ago:
Now, it’ll be interesting to see if the NCAA backs down after the insane backlash they’re already getting on social media. This is a horrendously bad public relations maneuver, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them change their tune. But the mere fact that they denied Fournette the opportunity to help others in the first place shows their true colors, and further illustrates what a heartless, morally bankrupt organization they really are.
UPDATE: Someone at the NCAA apparently realized they’d rather not come off as the bad guys in a terrible ’80s movie, and they’ve caved to the pressure and intense public backlash:
Leonard Fournette can auction his jersey for SC flood victims.
— NCAA (@NCAA) October 11, 2015