Follows star quarterback who ignites a players strike hours before the biggest game of the year in order to fight for fair compensation, equality and respect for the student-athletes.

Chuck says:

To be sure, National Champions is timely and makes a great many good points about the inequities in collegiate sports.  I just wish it didn’t come off at times like a lecture.  It’s 72 hours before the National Football Championship to determine which college team is the best, when star quarterback Le Marcus James (Stephan James) drops a bombshell. He calls for both teams to boycott the contest unless the powers-that-be address the fact that while the game profits millions, its players receive nothing.

This sends shockwaves that impact his coach (J.K. Simmons), the head of the league (Jeffery Donovan) and a host of other movers and shakers who’re suddenly concerned about having to share the millions they’ve been pocketing over the years. The screenplay by Adam Mervis is spot-on in pointing out the vast disparities in this system and is comprehensive in looking at the widespread ramifications – both positive and negative – of paying college athletes. To be sure, it comes off as preachy at times and could have done without a subplot or two, but there’s no questioning director Ric Waugh’s passion for this issue or how justified he is in raging at this corrupt machine.

2 1/2 Stars

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