LeBron James delivered a pretty scathing (and pretty accurate) assessment of the NCAA this week, calling it in the wake of the ongoing FBI probe into college basketball.
James argued that the NCAA actively takes advantage of student athletes and doesn't compensate them fairly based on the value of what 5-star athletes bring to universities.
"I don't know all the rules and regulations about it. But I do know what 5-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football. I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids. ... I've always heard the narrative they get a free education. But you guys aren't bringing me on campus to get an education. You guys are bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship."
Of course, LeBron elected to skip college and head straight to the NBA after finishing high school in 2003, though there was certainly plenty of interest in his services. He was the nation's top high school basketball prospect before being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. To say that schools were frothing at the mouth for an opportunity to recruit LeBron is undoubtedly an understatement.
On Tuesday, LeBron was asked about the NCAA recruiting process and, specifically, the craziest offer he received from a school interested in his talents. He delivered a pretty great answer.
"Me and my mom were poor," LeBron said after a moment of laughter. "If they expected me to step a foot on a college campus and not go to the NBA, then we weren't going to be poor for long, I can tell you that. That's a fact."
His answer seemingly suggests that at least one college program was willing to bribe James and his family with some serious money in order to get him to their school. Of course, this isn't allowed under the NCAA rules, but -- considering what we know about the NCAA and its history of corruption in athletics -- it's also not at all surprising.
Fortunately for LeBron, players were still allowed to make the jump from high school straight to the pros back then, and he was able to get very, very rich without breaking the rules.