Speaking to a panel at The Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., former Badgers forward Nigel Hayes detailed how he proposed he and his teammates should boycott a game to protest the current NCAA system in regards to compensation of players.
During a chat titled, "Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athlete Pay", Hayes explained how he singled out the Syracuse game during his senior season as an ideal game to boycott since it was nationally televised but would not have an impact on the conference race. Hayes says he sent out a group text to his teammates with the proposal to boycott. He said at least one player responded that he wasn’t comfortable with the idea. So, the boycott was shelved.
"The whole team wasn’t on board with it. So, I made the decision, obviously, if the whole team’s not there, we wouldn’t do it. I’m sure that talk has happened in many other locker rooms. I think that it will continue to happen until there’s either one player or one team that finally has had enough and is willing to make that change."
Hayes says his goal is to eliminate the "impermissible benefits" idea in the NCAA. He believes college players should be able to receive additional benefits. He supports the Olympic model. In essence, athletes would not be paid directly by the universities but would be allowed to receive compensation from outside sources while retaining their amateurism.
Hayes, who is on the roster of the Sacramento Kings, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NCAA.