Morning Sports Update

Charlie Baker shared his ideas about how the NCAA might fix NIL. Charles Barkley was not a fan.

In a blunt soundbite, Barkley declared that "our politicians are awful people."

Charlie Baker NCAA
Charlie Baker watching the SEC men's basketball tournament earlier in March with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 4-2 in a scrappy contest on Thursday. Boston has won five in a row and is now a remarkable 55-11-5.

Tonight, the Celtics face the Pacers at 7 p.m.

Charlie vs. Charles: During the CBS broadcast of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament on Thursday night, the subject of name, image, and likeness (NIL) was discussed.

NIL was created after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2021 (in NCAA v. Alston) that the NCAA itself could not prevent or limit student-athletes from receiving “education-related benefits.”

While schools are still forbidden from directly paying players (and athletes are not allowed to make benefit-related agreements about which school they attend), NIL allows for student-athletes to sign endorsement deals.


It remains a problematic system, however, as it has been subject to different rules and laws in different places (sometimes at the state level, and sometimes simply just a school’s individual policy).

Former Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker was recently named NCAA President. Baker stopped by CBS for an interview, with NIL as the primary subject.

Baker shared some of his ideas about how the NCAA might reform the current approach.

“The other thing I would speak to, specifically, is trying to create what I would call are some consumer protections for families and student athletes around name, image, and likeness, which one of the [Athletic Directors] referred to it as, ‘The only thing that’s true about it at this point is everybody lies.'”

“I would love to create some transparency and accountability around that, so that families actually know what they’re getting into, and I would really like to see some sort of uniform standard contract, so that when somebody signs it, they know they’re signing the same kind of agreement everybody else is signing.”

Asked how he intends to accomplish this, Baker explained there are multiple avenues.

“One is obviously we’re going to talk some with the folks in Washington about this,” said Baker. “There’s a fair amount of appetite to try to deal with this. They’ve been hearing from a lot of the same people I’ve been hearing from.


“But I think it’s incumbent on the NCAA to also develop a program that we believe we could implement if the feds can’t actually put something together on their own,” he added. “The only problem is that if the feds do it, all 50 states comply. If we do it, we have to perhaps nudge some states and their collegiate programs into participating because they may have state laws that don’t require that they play.”

CBS then cut back to its studio panel, which included former NBA star Charles Barkley. Asked why he was shaking his head in reaction to Baker’s comments, Barkley was typically unsparing in his response.

“Did he say we’re going to ask the politicians to help us?” said Barkley. “See that pisses me off already. Our politicians are awful people.”

“I would actually go to people who actually care about basketball,” he added. “I would put a committee together. I would love for Clark [Kellogg] to be on the committee, get some coaches, get some players, and let’s try to work this thing out. We can’t ask these politicians nothing. Those people are awful people, Democrats and Republicans. They’re all crooks.”

Kellogg pushed back, reminding Barkley that not every politician is a crook (which the former 76er acknowledged was true). Yet the comments showcased another example of the contentiousness of the current NCAA situation, and the difficult task in front of Baker.

Trivia: Charles Barkley led Auburn to the school’s first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1984 as a fifth seed, but lost in the first round to a 12-seed. Can you name the school that beat them?


(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: The school is based in Virginia. Its sports teams are known as “the spiders.”

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Quality gamesmanship: During Kansas State’s thrilling win over Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16, Markquis Nowell orchestrated a reverse alley-oop in the final minute. Was his apparent “argument” with his coach in the buildup to the play real or just an act meant to distract the defese?

“You can’t tell them because then the next team will know,” joked Kansas State coach Jerome Tang during the postgame press conference.

Tough night for Anton Khudobin: The former Bruins goaltender misplayed the puck in a 6-1 loss to the Capitals on Thursday.

On this day: In 2015, then-Patriots reporter Jeff Howe (now with The Athletic) tweeted a photo of Bill Belichick drinking orange juice. The image subsequently became an informal meme among the New England fanbase.

Daily highlight: Playing in Argentina for the first time since winning the World Cup, Argentina named the same Starting XI that played in the final. Eventually, the champions worked a 2-0 win over Panama, highlighted by Lionel Messi’s free kick goal.

Trivia answer: Richmond


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