My Hurricanes did nothing wrong.
Even though I’m in full, 100% support of name, image and likeness (NIL) deals for collegiate student-athletes, I also have to admit that it’s created a ton of chaos, and now we’ve hit another level where the NCAA has laid down their first official sanctions related to NIL.
The NCAA — which has been corrupt for decades, we know that (in the words of LeBron) — slapped the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball program with a year of probation and other minor penalties for their involvement in setting up a meeting between wealthy alum John Ruiz and the Haley and Hanna Cavinder, twin sister basketball stars who transferred to The U in summer 2023.
I know, I’m also amazed I’m writing about women’s college basketball, but stick with me. This could be the start of a very troubling trend.
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The case involves several prominent figures in the NIL marketplace, but none of them have been directly hit with NCAA sanctions yet.
Ruiz has signed over 100 Hurricane athletes to promote his company LifeWallet, with some of the NIL deals reportedly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The amount of money he’s spent (which has brought some fantastic talent to the University of Miami) has been criticized for a while now (because nobody else can compete with that bankroll), and now the NCAA is “taking action” — all of this because the Canes set up a meeting. That’s it. Just a meeting. Absolutely ridiculous.
But it didn’t discourage my man John. Oh, no, no, no … quite the contrary.
Check out this glorious quote from Ruiz, who was neither sanctioned or disassociated from The U, because he did nothing wrong. The school didn’t either, but whatever. (Jealous much?) (RELATED: USA! USA! USA!: United States Basketball Qualifies For 2023 FIBA World Cup)
I’m gonna let John tell you:
“It has little to no substance and no effect on me at all,” Ruiz said of the sanctions. “It’s mostly focused on the coach, and that’s unfortunate. But it doesn’t affect me or my business. If it did, I’d be suing the NCAA and it wouldn’t be a good day for them.”
A big “f*ck you,” that’s what that is.
The Miami Hurricanes, John Ruiz and the Cavinder twins did nothing wrong.