Some people in this world talk a good game while others, if you take them at their word, are actually backing their rhetoric up with an action plan. After first reading about the proposed HBCU play for pay league on Vice Sports this week I thought it was just a bunch of guys, to quote Larry Blackmon and Cameo “talking out the side of their neck.” Intrigued by the audacity of the thought itself and fueled by my news instincts I looked these guys up online and inquired if they could chat for our podcast.
I was pleasantly surprised to get a response back from Andy Schwarz within a few hours while hanging out with my kids at the playground, where my best work often occurs. Schwarz was about to jump on a plane the next morning so he connected me with his partner, Bijan Bayne, one of the three co-founders of this proposed league.
Bijan and I recorded a conversation on Wednesday morning and before we got started I found out that he spent time at Howard before graduating from UDC. Now I was a bit more intrigued because my top question was already answered, “does anyone in this group actually understand how HBCUs think and operate.”
We talked for nearly thirty minutes and Bijan was really enjoyable and his answers were honest and he took the time to address my questions directly without trying to do any sort of redirect to canned talking points. Like many people out there, I’m still very doubtful that any sort of disruption of this magnitude will take place within HBCU sports but if the world operated according to what I thought, we’d all still be picking up newspapers out of our driveways every morning.
At the very least I left the conversation knowing that these guys are serious. This is not a “think project” or some sort of veil to get that proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. It will be interesting to see how much traction this receives and if money really does arrive at the table. Because people talk, but money talks louder. Enjoy the conversation.