Baylor Bears’ running back Silas Nacita became a fan favorite amongst his Waco, Texas compatriots for personifying the rags-to-riches story with his college football and collegiate career. He was homeless at the time he enrolled at Baylor University and crashed on the couches of his friends in pursuit of a college scholarship. After the walk-on sophomore tallied three touchdowns for the Bears last season, he was en route to achieving the American dream until the NCAA took it all away from him, or so he claims.
Nacita took to twitter on Wednesday stating he was ruled ineligible by the governing body of college sports, the NCAA. He claims to have accepted room and board at the expense of a family friend; his only other option was to remain homeless and continue on with his couch surfing. Anyone placed in his shoes would have made the same choice without much hesitation. Due to his infractions for accepting improper benefits, Nacita was not seen at Baylor football’s spring training, which began Tuesday.
The NCAA is quite strict when it comes to college athletes accepting any kind of under-the-table financial benefits and enforces swift punishments to those who violate their rules. Baylor’s athletic director, Ian McCaw, confirmed to certain members of the media that Nacita was no longer on the football team. The Internet was up in arms upon discovery of the news. Outcries of “how dare they” skewered the NCAA, who makes hundreds of millions of dollars off kids who won’t earn a dime from their play (unless of course they are fortunate enough to play in a professional sports league). College football fans across the country lambasted the NCAA for another ugly example of a recurring double standard, until the NCAA squashed Nacita’s accusations as pure malarkey just hours later.
The Internet’s anger turned into utter confusion when the NCAA refuted the rumors. The NCAA claims that did not rule Nacita ineligible nor did Baylor request a waiver to pay for his room and board. If this turns out to be true, Nacita was removed from the team for a completely different reason.
Two things remain certain: Nacita will not wear a football uniform this fall and someone is an outright liar. McCaw’s statement does not appear on the school’s web page despite claims that it was released by Baylor University via press release. Speculation as to why he is no longer a member of the Baylor Bears football team will be ongoing until the truth is unveiled. Perhaps he ruled himself ineligible for these very infractions; or maybe the NCAA is denying his claims to avoid further scrutiny. What other motive would there be?