Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones said Tuesday he's speaking out against the NCAA's rules now to give a voice to college players who don't have the freedom to express their views as he does after declaring for the NFL draft.
Jones made his comments in an interview on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike program, a day after he had posted a series of tweets about the NCAA's rules limiting players.
"I was kind of shied away from making a statement like that outside of my teammates because I was under the NCAA rules and I was kind of wary of the consequences," he said, explaining why he didn't make his views known when he was an active player. "I'm sure a lot of the players now [would say], 'Well, we feel the same way,' but they can't tweet that because they are wary of the consequences as well."
He said he thought about the impact the tweets might have with NFL teams considering selecting him in the draft before he made them.
"I thought it would make a positive impact because I was speaking up for the athletes who cannot speak up for each other right now," he said.
"I felt this way ever since I was in college and when I really saw how much of a business this is and how much exploitation happens on a daily basis of college athletes."
Jones first made his views known Monday with his tweets that quickly gained national attention.
I'm so happy to be done with the @NCAA and their rules & regulation. They do any & everything to exploited collegiate athletes.— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
It's deeper than athletes thinking we should get paid. The @NCAA control our lives with insane and unfair rules.— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
Why shouldn't a collegiate athlete be able to use their OWN likeness/brand to benefit themselves but yet the @NCAA can sell there jerseys🤔— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
That's my 2cent on the @NCAA .It's not like that's going to change how the athletes are exploited, even tho 98% of people feel the same way— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) April 11, 2016
Asked what spurred him to go on Twitter to speak out against the NCAA, Jones said Tuesday that "the spillover was seeing the ban of the satellite camps and just knowing how much the satellite camps did for me" and his former teammates. Jones said the exposure satellite camps gave to athletes was invaluable.
He said his problems with the NCAA's rules and regulations are about "most literally everything."
"I don't want to sound like I'm being selfish and I'm ungrateful for the scholarship opportunity I had because the NCAA is allowing a lot of inner city and underprivileged kids who have talent receive a higher education," he said.
He pointed out, however, that "it's not like our scholarship is taking care of literally every expense we have."
"We're not allowed to get loans. I know a lot of teammates want to get loans so they go through their family to get loans, just so they're not living day by day."
But the "things we are not allowed to do" are the crux of the problem with the NCAA.
"They want to say we are like normal students, but a normal student can go sell their shoes and get X amount of dollars for them, but we jeopardize literally our eligibility and our program, our program's reputation," he said.
He said he believes college athletes could force positive changes if they could come together and speak as a group to the NCAA, "but the support is really not there to make a change like Northwestern was trying to do." Northwestern's football players tried to unionize last year, but were denied their request to form the first union for college athletes by the National Labor Relations Board.
"I think if a huge number of athletes came together and really sought out the issues and some of the major issues we have with NCAA rules and regulations, I think a major change can happen," he said.