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Former Syracuse forward Etan Thomas fights back against NCAA’s ‘corrupt system’


In a piece recently published on, former Syracuse and NBA forward Etan Thomas publicly criticized the NCAA, calling the college experience a “corrupt system focused on exploitation and greed.”

Thomas, who averaged 12.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game in his three-year Syracuse career from 1997-2000, wrote about his personal experiences with the NCAA, along with a recent case that has received criticism, the handling of Kansas State’s Jamar Samuels.

You’ll recall that Samuels was restricted from playing in KSU’s NCAA tournament game against Syracuse after he was accused of receiving $200 from his former AAU coach. Curtis Malone, the man who supposedly gifted the money to Samuels, maintains that the money was meant to allow Samuels to buy groceries for his family.

Thomas specifically points out the pay scale of the NCAA brass and the hypocrisy he sees, citing the $10.8 billion that the NCAA brings in from the March tournament.

“These types of figures make it possible for the lavish salaries of everyone we don’t pay to watch. Mark Emmert, the president of the NCAA, which is strangely considered a “non-profit”, keeps his salary as leader of the NCAA a secret, but it’s thought to be near $2 million a year,” Thomas writes. “He has 14 vice presidents, each of whom make at least $400,000 annually. Does that seem fair?”

Thomas is certainly not the first to criticize the NCAA. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas is an outspoken critic of the organization and articles have appeared in the New York Times looking at the handling of Ryan Boatright’s situation, where he was kept out of games with the Connecticut Huskies this season.

To read Thomas’ full article, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_