It appears that when college football players decide to sit out the season because the sport is a Corona virus infested hellhole, the colleges pull their scholarships in violation of both human decency and NCAA regulations.
NCAA Division 3 sports are slavery, pure and simple:
Henry Bazakas embodied everything the University of California wants in a football player.
A third-generation Cal student who grew up in Berkeley, Bazakas arrived on campus five years ago as a walk-on offensive lineman. Three times he earned an award for having the team’s highest grade-point average. He and a teammate spearheaded a summer reading program at local elementary schools. He won another award, for his commitment to strength and conditioning while recovering from a torn knee ligament. And last season, after he finally earned an athletic scholarship, he started three games at left tackle.
But none of that counted for much in June, when Bazakas called the Cal football coach, Justin Wilcox, to say that he was opting out of his final season because of health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The call was the beginning of an odyssey that illustrates the normally unseen, cutthroat side of the business of college football, with tensions that have been magnified for athletes by the determined push to play during the pandemic.
Nine days later, Bazakas found his scholarship had been cut off, and he was then billed more than $24,000 halfway through his summer term because the athletic department had revoked the financial aid that it had already paid.
The summer school aid was ultimately reinstated by a university appeals committee, which said the school had violated N.C.A.A. rules by abruptly pulling Bazakas’s aid before giving him an opportunity for a hearing.
Bazakas also asked for his scholarship back for the fall semester, but the appeals panel sided with the athletic department’s decision to not renew it. While most of his teammates arrived at Cal with scholarships pledged for four years, walk-ons, like Bazakas, who eventually earn scholarships may not get them in subsequent years, and Cal had met an N.C.A.A. deadline in July not to renew his.
As major college football has lurched through the pandemic in pursuit of billions in television revenue — Cal had its first two scheduled games canceled, then lost Sunday to U.C.L.A. in a game arranged two days before kickoff — not even mandated protections for players have been ironclad.
In August, Washington State receiver Kassidy Woods, who opted out because he has the sickle cell trait, was allowed to keep his scholarship but removed from the team when Coach Nick Rolovich told Woods it would be “an issue” that he was aligned with a player rights’ movement. Utah State Coach Gary Andersen, before he was fired after an 0-3 start, said there was a reason none of his players had opted out. “It’s not an option,” he told reporters. “If you opt out, you’re not with us.”
Yet “Great American Institution” that is rotten to the core.
Div 3 sports are a profit making institution, and they should be treated as such.