By Matt McCoy
Moments after Connecticut won college basketball's national championship with a 60-54 win over Kentucky Monday night, outspoken UCONN star Shabazz Napier got his chance.
Napier was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was being interviewed by CBS' Jim Nantz and let the NCAA have it. Napier and his teammates were banned from the tournament last year for a substandard Academic Progress Rate (APR) and after hoisting the trophy, the senior let loose.
"I want to get everybody's attention real quick," Napier shouted. "Ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at the hungry Huskies. This is what happens when you ban us last year...We worked so hard for it. Two years and hungry. Hungry Huskies."
Rather than continue the interview, Nantz closed it out by congratulating Napier on being the MOP. It wasn't exactly Richard Sherman and Erin Andrews, but it did seem clear CBS had no interest in hearing what else Napier had to say.
Napier's national television rip on the NCAA came a day after he raised eyebrows with his comments about the Northwestern athletes earning the right to unionize.
During an interview session with reporters Sunday, Napier said it was "kind of great" that Northwestern football players won their case with the National Labor Relations Board and said he sometimes "goes to bed starving" because he does not have enough money for food.
"There's hungry nights when I'm not able to eat but I still have to play up to my capabilities," Napier said in the interview below. "I don't see myself as so much of an employee but when you see your jersey being sold....you want something in return. I don't think student athletes should get $100,000 but like I said, there are hungry nights when I go to bed and I'm starving."
I'm not completely against college players getting some kind of added benefit. I think it's clear that we're headed that way, but Napier's "goes to bed starving" comment is embarrassing.
As an athlete on full scholarship, it's not like Napier isn't being fed...he is. And while I don't know the specifics of the Husky training table, I'm pretty confident it's significantly better than a Storrs, Connecticut soup kitchen.
Going to bed, as a college athlete without money to grab a midnight snack is not "going to bed starving."
The discussion of whether athletes should get more than just a scholarship will and should continue but Napier and too many others talk as though they have to dig through trash to find leftovers.
Stop it Shabazz. You don't know how good you have it.