NASHVILLE, JAN. 11 -- Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson today blasted a proposal to distribute collegiate athletic revenues more equally among NCAA members, saying the schools that make the money should be allowed to keep it.
"Am I the only capitalist in this room?" asked Thompson, a panelist at the NCAA's National Forum. "I wondered why Gorbachev received such a welcome when he came to Washington. Now I know why.
"When I was poor, there was no revenue-sharing," Thompson said. "Now that I have money, they want to change the rules."
Thompson's outburst was in response to an earlier forum speaker, Chancellor Edward Fort of North Carolina A&T, who called for a bigger share of NCAA revenues.
Fort said bowl money should be distributed to all NCAA schools, not merely those in the same conference as bowl teams. Also, he said, all institutions, not just playing participants, should get money from the NCAA basketball tournament.
"I don't agree that we can't take from the producers and distribute to the nonproducers," Fort said.
Said Thompson: "I think whatever Georgetown earns should go to Georgetown."
Fort also put forth a plan for the NCAA to get money from the NFL and NBA for college players who go to those pro leagues.
Earlier, Robert Atwell, president of the American Council on Education, said colleges should either make an earnest effort to return to amateur athletics or acknowledge the professionalism in their football and basketball programs.
Many college presidents want to reduce monetary influence in their athletic programs but lack the time and political sagacity it would take to pull it off, Atwell said.
Atwell, Thompson and Fort were among 10 speakers at the forum the day before the annual NCAA convention begins debate and voting on a 163-item legislative agenda.
The forum was divided into two sessions with a four-hour break for the NCAA Honors Luncheon, at which Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson was among award recipients.
Atwell accused the media of being responsible for "overemphasis" on college athletics.
CBS Sports executive Neal Pilson countered, "Blaming the media is a convenient target but we do not set the trend or tastes of the American public."