Last night, John Oliver dedicated over 20 minutes of Last Week Tonight to dismantling the hypocrisy of the NCAA's policy of not compensating student athletes for the billions they contribute. Oliver focused on March Madness, the college basketball tournament, whose brackets were announced yesterday:
Oliver said, "There is nothing inherently wrong with a sporting tournament making huge amounts of money. But there is something slightly troubling about a billion-dollar sports enterprise where the athletes are not paid a penny, because they aren’t." He pointed out, "All this makes it even harder to swallow when some coaches like Clemson's Dabo Swinney, a man who makes over $3 million a year, insists that his players not get paid." A clip shows Swinny saying, "As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that's where you lose me. I'll go do something else because there's enough entitlement in this world as it is."
Then there was a clip of UConn guard Shabazz Napier telling reporters how he goes hungry at night because he doesn't have enough money for more food.
There's also NCAA president Mark Emmert claiming, "I can't say often enough, obviously, that student athletes are students, they're not employees," to which Oliver retires, "The only other people who say, 'they're not employees,' that much are people who run illegal sweatshops out of their basements."