Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, tell us how you really feel about the NCAA?
"I think the NCAA is one of the biggest scams in America," Bennett said on the third day of Super Bowl press conferences. "These kids put so much on the line. They [the NCAA] say, ‘We give you a free degree.’ That’s like me owning a restaurant and saying, ‘I’ll give you a free burger.’
"It makes me so mad and irate. Universities need to do more for [student-athletes.”
Plenty of NFL players before them have criticized the NCAA for making billions off the backs of student-athletes without providing suitable compensation or resources. Even as the NCAA enacts new legislation that will allow schools to cover the full cost of attendance -- not merely the expenses covered by scholarships -- many feel that greater steps need to be taken.
Seahawks defenders Bennett and Sherman are among them. And Sherman, who has a Stanford education under his belt, is particularly eloquent at addressing the issues.
"People say you get room and board and they pay for your education. But to [the school officials’] knowledge, you’re there to play football," Sherman said. "Those are the things coaches tell you every day.
"Luckily I was blessed to go to Stanford, a school primarily focused on academics. But as [former Stanford coach] Jim Harbaugh would attest, we were still there to play football."
In other words, Sherman feels it's safe to assume that football players are treated as workhorses even worse at other schools than what he experienced.
Given the way the NCAA has dragged its heels on reform on the past, that's a pretty safe bet. Another safe bet: more challenges will be pushed forward in the near future.