Jevon Carter’s WVU men’s basketball career will end with him as a consensus second-team all-American. He was named second team by the Associated Press and by Sporting News. The NABC, USA Today and NBC Sports all named him third team. Carter was also a member of the 10-member Wooden all-America team.
Carter became just the second WVU men’s basketball player to capture the Senior CLASS Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top four-year player.
You could make a good argument for Carter’s inclusion in the starting five of all-time WVU players. And while his career is more decorated than a Christmas tree, he is also a prime example of proceeding with great caution when it comes to the idea of paying college athletes.
And before we move on, I’m not against letting college athletes have control over their names and likenesses and being able to use that control in the open market.
I’m not against the scholarship stipends or increasing the amount of the stipends. I think it’s wrong that the NCAA signs an $8.8 billion extension with CBS and Turner to televise the NCAA tournament and then doesn’t give the people who truly make that tourney special — the athletes — some sort of compensation.
But to simply cut athletes paychecks every two weeks as if they were school employees is dangerous.
Here’s why: It would be easy to say Carter earned a certain amount as a senior. He was the face of the program, and as good a person off the court as he was on. In every sense, it would be well deserved.
But what should you have paid him as a freshman, when he was a backup point guard with little experience at the position?
What do you pay a three-star recruit whose other scholarship offers were Kent State and Dartmouth?
See where this is going?
As Carter’s stock began to rise, would WVU have been on the hook to pay him more? What if Carter thought his improvement in play was greater than the money he was earning?
Can you see holdouts in college? How about college players refusing to participate in pre-season practices, because their scoring average improved by
10 points but their salary was still a little light?
Even better: Say a five-star recruit is signed, which may be worth a decent salary, but then the athlete bombs as a freshman and doesn’t live up to the potential.
Should a school be permitted to take money away?
Is an athletic director really going to be asked to determine the worth of every single athlete at his school and then be asked to negotiate with said athletes?
Does Carter bring value to WVU? Does Will Grier?
Absolutely. In some part, WVU gets selected for Big Monday games or prime time network slots because they are on the roster. That is worth something.
But a salary is a slippery slope that may sound great in theory, but probably hasn’t been really thought out.