Nigel Hayes Says Wisconsin Basketball Discussed Boycott over NCAA Compensation

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 1, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24:  Nigel Hayes #10 of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts in the second half against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team considered boycotting a game during the 2016-17 season to protest NCAA rules regarding athlete compensation.

Former Badgers forward Nigel Hayes told USA Today's Steve Berkowitz most of the team was in support of sitting out a Nov. 29 game against Syracuse that was broadcast on ESPN:

“I knew 90 percent of the guys were on board from the get-go, before I asked the question. But I let them know that if one of you guys says no, we won't do it because, obviously, we're a team and we're going to stick together.

“In hindsight, I think those guys that said no would change their mind now. That's usually what happens. The guys who don't go on to the NBA, once they leave college, they look back and say, ‘Wow, I was exploited — and now I have nothing to show for it.’ … So, I think we missed our opportunity, but hopefully this word gets out and it will inspire a group of kids that in college now or will be in college.” 

In his four years at Wisconsin, Hayes voiced his displeasure with the NCAA's amateur rules that prevent athletes from receiving financial compensation for their name and likeness:

Hayes was named as a plaintiff in a 2014 lawsuit that sought an injunction against the NCAA rules limiting athletes' compensation. 

After his senior season at Wisconsin, Hayes went undrafted by the NBA in 2017. He appeared in nine games with three different teams last season, averaging three points and 2.4 rebounds per game. 

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