Marshall Henderson has a message for everyone as he prepares to lead his underdog Mississippi team against Wisconsin in the NCAA tourney on Friday.
Show me the money:
"I'm trying to get paid here soon because I'm tired of doing all this stuff for free," Henderson said in Kansas City on Thursday. "And this is where you make your money, the NCAA tournament."
Henderson isn't totally wrong, of course. Plenty of people make money from the NCAA tournament. Off the top of our head, there's television networks, athletic departments, advertising agencies, arenas, hotels and Internet sites like this one.
But the most notable absence on that list is student athletes. It's something that Henderson is well aware of as he just spent the SEC tournament telling people about his desire to start collecting benjamins. He thinks his newfound notoriety as the SEC's leading scorer can vault him into the profitable sharpshooting territory once occupied by eventual pros like Steph Curry and Jimmer Fredette.
The only problem with Henderson's pressing desire to use the NCAA tournament as a springboard to a paid career in basketball is that he's still a junior and he'll have to turn pro after the Rebels are done with the tournament. Then he'd actually have to get drafted and it doesn't really look like that's going to happen considering his size, makeup and inability to play defense have kept him from being considered a NBA prospect.
Still, good on Henderson for using his current platform to highlight the inequity that exists when a free labor force fuels one of the most profitable athletic enterprises on the planet. Considering that most have tabbed Friday's game as "Marshall Henderson vs. Wisconsin," no wonder he's tired of working for free.
More NCAA tournament content from Yahoo! Sports:
• DJ Stephens of Memphis becomes NCAA tourney's first star with dunks
• Davidson's collapse allows Marquette to escape first-round upset
• Recalling buzzer-beaters through the eyes of the defenders