Why Charles Barkley hates college NIL deals, the transfer portal and ... Aaron Rodgers' man bun

Jim Krajewski
Reno Gazette Journal

RENO, Nev. — Charles Barkley is not a fan of the NIL (name, image, likeness)  deals college athletes can sign to make money while playing sports.

The Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA on TNT analyst also dislikes the transfer portal, which allows college athletes to change schools every year.

"I hate NIL because, No. 1, I think it's going to have tremendous resentment among teammates. They're going to be comparing who makes the most," he said. "The transfer portal is going to be, they're going to be cherry picking guys every single year now, like, how much are they paying you at this school?  We need to give you more to come here."

Barkley, who was in Reno, Nevada, Thursday to promote next month's American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament, said the NCAA is at fault for overly enforcing minor rules infractions in past years, such as coaches taking payers out to eat.

Charles Barkley was honored as a member of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 All-Star Game.

"The NCAA has nobody to blame but themselves because they've been boneheads forever," said Barkley, who was an All-American player at Auburn from 1981-84.  "Suspending guys for getting a free meal, suspending guys for getting an extra pair of sneakers and stupid stuff like that.  And now you've got the toothpaste out of the tube where every kid is going to the highest bidder.

"These little schools, they got no chance going forward. They've got zero chance, because they're not going to be able to pay what these big schools are going to pay."

Barkley also dislikes politicians and said they should be more concerned about gun and abortion laws than the NIL. In Texas, legislators are discussing whether high school athletes should be allowed to also get NIL deals, like college athletes.

"Instead of passing sensible gun resolutions, they're out here worrying about the NIL. Are you kidding me? They're out here talking about abortion in 2022. They won't pass not one single (law) making it hard to get an assault weapon, but they're worried about the NIL? And they want to talk about abortion in 2022? That's only because we're just fools, the public.

"They know they've just got to say a couple of words to get your vote. They throw the word 'conservative,' 'liberal,' they throw it around. Those words should be outlawed, liberal, conservative."

On a lighter note, Barkley also criticized Aaron Rodgers' man bun. The Green Bay Packers quarterback will also be playing in the ACC at Edgewood Tahoe from July 6-10.

Charles Barkley plays a shot during the 2021 American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament at at Edgewood Tahoe.

Barkley said he has a side bet with Rodgers about his hair, which he emphasized is "not a style." If Barkley has a better score in this year's tournament, he gets to cut off Rodgers' man bun.

"Just because you're too cheap to cut your hair, you can't make it a style," Barkley said. "Man, here's $25. Go down to Fantastic Sam's and get that thing cut off the back of your head. Just because you don't cut your hair, that's not a style. But Aaron's a much better golfer than me, but I'll be happy to give a donation to his charity."

Sir Charles, though, is done trying to convince the public he is a good golfer. He knows he won’t win the celebrity golf tournament this summer, but he is pretty sure he won’t finish last.

Barkley is listed at 7,500-1 odds to win, but the odds for him to finish in the top 70 in the 90-person tournament are not quite as long. Caesars Sportsbook has the former NBA star listed at 5-1 to finish in the top 70.

Barkley said he bet $100,000 on himself to finish in the top 70 last year in the ACC, before finding out people are not allowed to bet on themselves. His bet was refunded.

He has a workaround this year. He’ll have a friend make the bet for him.