The mother of former Duke University basketball player Wendell Carter likened the NCAA system to slavery or prison during a meeting Monday of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics in Washington, D.C.
Kylia Carter, who played college basketball at the University of Mississippi, didn't hold back on her opinions of the system during her emotional speech.
What's wrong with the NCAA?
Carter's biggest complaint was that student-athletes bring in millions of dollars for institutions, but elite players aren't compensated fairly for their contributions. Students are not allowed to profit from their name, likeness, or image under NCAA rules.
The meeting was held to discuss recommendations to reform the NCAA and restore "public faith in the governing body’s ability to oversee major revenue-producing college sports," according to a statement from the Knight Commission.
Carter was added Friday to the panel after another speaker canceled, according to USA Today.
Here's the full video of the Knight Commision meeting; Carter's portion starts at about 2:13:
What did Carter say?
Carter shared her family's history for context leading up to her charges against the NCAA. She said her grandmother was a single mom who raised her children in the cotton fields in Mississippi.
Carter, who was a recruited athlete, also drew on her own experiences that she explained were similar to those of today's athletes.
“When I pull back the layers, the problem that I see is not with the student-athletes, it’s not with the coaches or the institutions of higher learning but it’s with a system, like the only system I have ever seen, where the laborers are the only people that are not being compensated for the work that they do, while those in charge receive mighty compensation," Carter said. "The only two systems where I’ve known that to be in place is slavery and the prison system. And now I see the NCAA as overseers of a system that is identical to that.”
Carter added that she's a proponent of education, adding that her son had a great experience at Duke. Harvard University was Wendell's other option. The 6-10 Duke star declared for the draft on his 19th birthday and is expected to be a high pick in the NBA draft.
"I think the covers should be pulled back so everyone can see the truth and be aware of what's really happening to the student-athlete and their families because once these students are recruited to these institutions of higher learning ... at the end of the day, the talent is being purchased, but the talented are not receiving any of the benefit," she said. "The colleges are only recruiting the talented kids for their talent. They're not recruiting them because they will excel academically at their institution. So [what] is the benefit of them going to that institution?"
She believes athletes should have to attend school for at least two years so that they leave school with an opportunity to get a certificate related to sports and have a career outside of being a player.
“It looks like there is an attempt to legalize purchasing people,” Carter said later. “It’s what this looks like.”
How much money does the NCAA make?
Last year, the NCAA reported more than $1 billion in revenue, according to Bloomberg.