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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    A little bit earlier in this thread some of us discussed an idea that might just kick off a move to force the NBA into a smart action, expand it's D league into a true minor league along the lines of baseball and hockey. The idea would have the NCAA establish what could be called scholarship contracts (with a stipend) that would run for at least three years with an option for a fourth year. This would replace the current practice of one year scholarships. It very well could solve the whole issue. High school athletes would initially face just two choices, go to college, or go pro. Wait for the draft and/or the recruiters to call. Next step for the athlete -- make the decision. Go pro, or go to college. Choose going pro, and the athlete can never be a student athlete. That's okay. Choose college, and three (or four) years later check out going pro.
    Ta da.
    That makes way too much sense to ever be considered, much less adopted.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    A little bit earlier in this thread some of us discussed an idea that might just kick off a move to force the NBA into a smart action, expand it's D league into a true minor league along the lines of baseball and hockey. The idea would have the NCAA establish what could be called scholarship contracts (with a stipend) that would run for at least three years with an option for a fourth year. This would replace the current practice of one year scholarships. It very well could solve the whole issue. High school athletes would initially face just two choices, go to college, or go pro. Wait for the draft and/or the recruiters to call. Next step for the athlete -- make the decision. Go pro, or go to college. Choose going pro, and the athlete can never be a student athlete. That's okay. Choose college, and three (or four) years later check out going pro.
    Ta da.
    I like it. Not so sure the NCAA would go for the stipend, especially if they want to be consistent with all sports, but think this is well thought through. I would only add that a student-athlete leaving after the first or second year be required to reimburse the institution for the full cost of the scholarship year(s) left on the table by the next tuition due date. Bolters would harm the school's ability to recruit and build a unit, as well as the lost expected revenue. Make 'em sign on the dotted line!

  3. #63
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    Steve Kerr writes about upping the age to 20 here. He gives all the reasons why a second year in college would be beneficial. That's great, but he avoids addressing non-qualifiers and how the D-league fits in. He uses Kevin Garnett as an example of a young guy who produced a little as a rookie and could have used a year in college. But Garnett did not qualify for college. How does he fit in? Does he go to the D-league? Is the D-league ready to support a kid that young?

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Steve Kerr writes about upping the age to 20 here. He gives all the reasons why a second year in college would be beneficial.... He uses Kevin Garnett as an example of a young guy who produced a little as a rookie and could have used a year in college. But Garnett did not qualify for college. How does he fit in? Does he go to the D-league? Is the D-league ready to support a kid that young?
    In addition to the problem you raise, Kerr's argument has a variety of others.

    Kerr’s assessment of straight-to-the-NBA guys like Garnett is flawed. He compares the rookie seasons of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan to those of Garnett, Kobe, Howard & LeBron, concluding Garnett & Bryant “needed the extra playing time” they would’ve gotten in college to develop and “LeBron and Howard were thrust into unfair positions as saviors of lottery teams, and after seeing how their careers have unfolded, maybe those burdens affected them more than we realized.”

    This is the wrong way of looking assessing the situation.

    If the question is “what’s best for Kevin Garnett’s development, going straight to the NBA or going to college?,”* looking at his rookie stats tells us nearly nothing, as we don’t know what they would’ve been had he gone to college. Kerr tries to use rookie seasons of college-goers Bird, Johnson & Jordan as proxies, but this is nonsense. Instead, Kerr should look later at Garnett’s career.

    Take Bird for example. Larry Bird at age 23 after three years in college put up a 20.5 PER and 11.2 Win Shares. Kerr compares that to Garnett’s 15.8 PER & 4.4 Win Shares as a 19 year old after zero years in college, and concludes that Garnett would’ve been better served going to college. What Kerr should do instead is look at Garnett at a comparable point in his own journey. Doing so, we see that Garnett at age 21 with two NBA seasons behind him put up a 20.4 PER and 9.6 Win Shares, which compares well with Bird at 23 with three years of college behind him. And Garnett's career from then on compares favorably to Bird’s.

    It isn’t exactly a great insight to note that a 23 year old player with three years of college experience outperformed a 19 year old straight out of high school. And it tells us nothing about which path (college vs. NBA) is better for a player’s development -- it merely suggests that having three extra years of development time is better than not having them. Hardly groundbreaking stuff, and not at all relevant to an assessment of whether those three years would be better spent in college or the NBA.

    Finally, Kerr suggests -- and I’ve seen this suggested elsewhere in this debate -- that Garnett and Bryant weren’t ready for the NBA and should’ve gone to college. But they were both, at 18/19 years old, league-average players. That’s really good! (For comparison: Garnett’s 15.8 rookie PER was better than the PERs of all but 5 of this year’s rookies, all of whom -- obviously -- are older and more experienced than he was.) Both made second-team all-Rookie team. I would contend that if you’re capable of being an average NBA at 19 years old, you’re ready (from a basketball standpoint) for the League. And both went on to have inner-circle Hall of Fame careers. So it’s awfully hard to buy the notion that their longterm development was stunted.

    Though Kerr suggests the players would’ve been better served by developing in college, his piece is really written from the perspective of the league, so his broader point is that it isn’t in the league’s interest to pay for development that could occur on someone else’s dime, and that the quality of basketball in the league would be higher if it didn’t have still-developing teenagers dragging it down. But Bryant, Garnett, James and Howard are terrible examples that undermine his point: All four were league-average or better performers as rookies. That means their presence in the league didn’t lower the quality of play -- it raised the quality of play, assuming teams behaved rationally and gave them PT at the expense of below-average players.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Steve Kerr writes about upping the age to 20 here. He gives all the reasons why a second year in college would be beneficial. That's great, but he avoids addressing non-qualifiers and how the D-league fits in. He uses Kevin Garnett as an example of a young guy who produced a little as a rookie and could have used a year in college. But Garnett did not qualify for college. How does he fit in? Does he go to the D-league? Is the D-league ready to support a kid that young?
    Quote Originally Posted by FellowTraveler View Post
    In addition to the problem you raise, Kerr's argument has a variety of others.

    Kerr’s assessment of straight-to-the-NBA guys like Garnett is flawed. He compares the rookie seasons of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan to those of Garnett, Kobe, Howard & LeBron, concluding Garnett & Bryant “needed the extra playing time” they would’ve gotten in college to develop and “LeBron and Howard were thrust into unfair positions as saviors of lottery teams, and after seeing how their careers have unfolded, maybe those burdens affected them more than we realized.”

    This is the wrong way of looking assessing the situation.

    If the question is “what’s best for Kevin Garnett’s development, going straight to the NBA or going to college?,”* looking at his rookie stats tells us nearly nothing, as we don’t know what they would’ve been had he gone to college. Kerr tries to use rookie seasons of college-goers Bird, Johnson & Jordan as proxies, but this is nonsense. Instead, Kerr should look later at Garnett’s career.

    Take Bird for example. Larry Bird at age 23 after three years in college put up a 20.5 PER and 11.2 Win Shares. Kerr compares that to Garnett’s 15.8 PER & 4.4 Win Shares as a 19 year old after zero years in college, and concludes that Garnett would’ve been better served going to college. What Kerr should do instead is look at Garnett at a comparable point in his own journey. Doing so, we see that Garnett at age 21 with two NBA seasons behind him put up a 20.4 PER and 9.6 Win Shares, which compares well with Bird at 23 with three years of college behind him. And Garnett's career from then on compares favorably to Bird’s.

    It isn’t exactly a great insight to note that a 23 year old player with three years of college experience outperformed a 19 year old straight out of high school. And it tells us nothing about which path (college vs. NBA) is better for a player’s development -- it merely suggests that having three extra years of development time is better than not having them. Hardly groundbreaking stuff, and not at all relevant to an assessment of whether those three years would be better spent in college or the NBA.

    Finally, Kerr suggests -- and I’ve seen this suggested elsewhere in this debate -- that Garnett and Bryant weren’t ready for the NBA and should’ve gone to college. But they were both, at 18/19 years old, league-average players. That’s really good! (For comparison: Garnett’s 15.8 rookie PER was better than the PERs of all but 5 of this year’s rookies, all of whom -- obviously -- are older and more experienced than he was.) Both made second-team all-Rookie team. I would contend that if you’re capable of being an average NBA at 19 years old, you’re ready (from a basketball standpoint) for the League. And both went on to have inner-circle Hall of Fame careers. So it’s awfully hard to buy the notion that their longterm development was stunted.

    Though Kerr suggests the players would’ve been better served by developing in college, his piece is really written from the perspective of the league, so his broader point is that it isn’t in the league’s interest to pay for development that could occur on someone else’s dime, and that the quality of basketball in the league would be higher if it didn’t have still-developing teenagers dragging it down. But Bryant, Garnett, James and Howard are terrible examples that undermine his point: All four were league-average or better performers as rookies. That means their presence in the league didn’t lower the quality of play -- it raised the quality of play, assuming teams behaved rationally and gave them PT at the expense of below-average players.
    These last two posts here keyed in on the problem quite well. Superdave raises the question of what an NBA prospect can do if he is not qualified to attend college. Good strong point, and Steve Kerr's point just doesn't fly. The NBA doesn't know how to handle the issue, or refuses to do so. Fellow Traveler does. He shows us that the NBA would rather have the colleges cover the expense of developing new talent. How do we fix that? Well, the NCAA can take a huge step to influence the NBA into doing something smart by establishing the scholarship contract in which the athlete commits to three years (with an optional fourth year) in college, and the colleges unlock some endowment money to provide a reasonable stipend. While we are at it, why not unlock some endowment money for financial aid to everybody?

    The kids that don't want to go to college get drafted by the NBA teams, and do their development on a minor league type team, financed by the NBA team that drafted them, sort of the way it is done in baseball and hockey. It generally answers a lot of the problems of player development for the NBA. and likewise solves problems colleges face with the one and done meme. Somewhere there are smart people that could get together on this, and work out all of the wrinkles.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    Well, the NCAA can take a huge step to influence the NBA into doing something smart by establishing the scholarship contract in which the athlete commits to three years (with an optional fourth year) in college.
    So I've seen this proposal elsewhere, including on these boards, and I don't see how this would really work. Say a kid who is interested in education like maybe a Brandon Knight decides to go to college instead of right to a D-league. He signs the scholarship contract for 3 years. But then he has a great freshman year and decides he's ready for the NBA, and he'll finish school later. He says, "sorry, but I'm breaking our contract" and submits his name for the draft. There's no NBA rule against that.

    What are the real consequences to the player for his breach of his contract? What are the actual, provable damages to the university? And even if the school goes to the trouble (and takes the PR hit) of actually filing a lawsuit against Knight, and then can somehow prove actual damages, doesn't Knight just write a check and move on?

    What am I missing here?

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    So I've seen this proposal elsewhere, including on these boards, and I don't see how this would really work. Say a kid who is interested in education like maybe a Brandon Knight decides to go to college instead of right to a D-league. He signs the scholarship contract for 3 years. But then he has a great freshman year and decides he's ready for the NBA, and he'll finish school later. He says, "sorry, but I'm breaking our contract" and submits his name for the draft. There's no NBA rule against that.

    What are the real consequences to the player for his breach of his contract? What are the actual, provable damages to the university? And even if the school goes to the trouble (and takes the PR hit) of actually filing a lawsuit against Knight, and then can somehow prove actual damages, doesn't Knight just write a check and move on?

    What am I missing here?
    Thanks, tommy. You are quite right, given your example. Some of the stars would just write the check. But, as policy, the message is sent that, "This is college...you are a student-athlete." Many young guys with stars in their eyes, but realistically "on the bubble" in regards to their NBA value would no doubt opt for college for 3+ years. Nothing to stop someone from leaving early (unless the NBA steps up and changes their protocol), but if this "proposed" NCAA scholarship contract is signed, it's likely binding. If, in your good example, Brandon Knight (or Kyrie Irving for that matter) goes back to school later to complete a degree (or get through the 3 or 3+ contractual years), then the school should embrace and honor that at some level (pro-rata or otherwise). Presumably, the athletic department could "escrow" some or all of the repaid scholarship money to fund future situations where the early departures return to school. The lawyers can weigh in, but it seems to me that an enforceable contract could be drafted by the NCAA. I'm not holding my breath on this one, however.

  8. #68

    The NCAA

    should do away with freshmen eligibility.

    And put the college Presidents on notice that athletes must be student-athletes.

    Might force the NBA to come to its senses regarding one and done.

    Athletes who have no interest in being students would have to opt to for a year in Europe or something unless the rule was changed.

    BTW there is no way to force players to stay in school for 3 years. What if they flunk out?

    Would put the college back in college athletics.

    SoCal

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    So I've seen this proposal elsewhere, including on these boards, and I don't see how this would really work. Say a kid who is interested in education like maybe a Brandon Knight decides to go to college instead of right to a D-league. He signs the scholarship contract for 3 years. But then he has a great freshman year and decides he's ready for the NBA, and he'll finish school later. He says, "sorry, but I'm breaking our contract" and submits his name for the draft. There's no NBA rule against that.

    What are the real consequences to the player for his breach of his contract? What are the actual, provable damages to the university? And even if the school goes to the trouble (and takes the PR hit) of actually filing a lawsuit against Knight, and then can somehow prove actual damages, doesn't Knight just write a check and move on?

    What am I missing here?
    Maybe you missed my last sentence, "Somewhere there are smart people that could get together on this, and work out all of the wrinkles." It is these smart people who come up with the actual set of rules and procedures. Once an athlete goes pro he is saddled with a host of restrictions that dictate what he can do and when, and he cannot ever play sports for an NCAA member institution.. On the other side there are similar restrictions, but I wouldn't expect damages being levied on an athlete that chooses to leave school prematurely. Once a decision is made it binds all of us to that decision, at least for a while.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    Maybe you missed my last sentence, "Somewhere there are smart people that could get together on this, and work out all of the wrinkles." It is these smart people who come up with the actual set of rules and procedures. Once an athlete goes pro he is saddled with a host of restrictions that dictate what he can do and when, and he cannot ever play sports for an NCAA member institution.. On the other side there are similar restrictions, but I wouldn't expect damages being levied on an athlete that chooses to leave school prematurely. Once a decision is made it binds all of us to that decision, at least for a while.
    Not trying to pick a fight here at all. Just wanting to express that when some thought is given to this idea, I don't think it'll really have legs. Why? Because there would be no real consequences for a kid breaking his contract. In that situation, that is, when there are no consequences for breaking a contract, the binding effect of that contract is negated as well. I don't think this flaw is something that the "smart people" could just figure out somehow. I think there are going to have to be some better ideas put into place to achieve the desired result from the perspective of the NCAA, including possibly some ideas floated on these boards. The question is whether the NCAA really has the will to enact any innovative approaches to address this.

    As an aside, as far as the restrictions the player would face from the NBA once he goes pro, those are going to exist whenever the player joins the league, so not sure how that's relevant here. No, he can't go back and play college ball again, but that of course has been the NCAA's rule forever.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Not trying to pick a fight here at all. Just wanting to express that when some thought is given to this idea, I don't think it'll really have legs. Why? Because there would be no real consequences for a kid breaking his contract. In that situation, that is, when there are no consequences for breaking a contract, the binding effect of that contract is negated as well. I don't think this flaw is something that the "smart people" could just figure out somehow. I think there are going to have to be some better ideas put into place to achieve the desired result from the perspective of the NCAA, including possibly some ideas floated on these boards. The question is whether the NCAA really has the will to enact any innovative approaches to address this.

    As an aside, as far as the restrictions the player would face from the NBA once he goes pro, those are going to exist whenever the player joins the league, so not sure how that's relevant here. No, he can't go back and play college ball again, but that of course has been the NCAA's rule forever.
    I wasn't as clear as I hoped. What I was trying to get across is that there are consequences whatever direction a player chooses. Sometimes a contract restricts what a person can do after bailing early out of a contract. And you are right. The NCAA is the blocking force on any change to the situation. By the way, neighbor's grand son got drafted by an MLB team some years ago. He went to a college in Delaware, played a little college football, and also played some minor league baseball before going to Medical School.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Not trying to pick a fight here at all. Just wanting to express that when some thought is given to this idea, I don't think it'll really have legs. Why? Because there would be no real consequences for a kid breaking his contract. In that situation, that is, when there are no consequences for breaking a contract, the binding effect of that contract is negated as well. I don't think this flaw is something that the "smart people" could just figure out somehow. I think there are going to have to be some better ideas put into place to achieve the desired result from the perspective of the NCAA, including possibly some ideas floated on these boards. The question is whether the NCAA really has the will to enact any innovative approaches to address this.

    As an aside, as far as the restrictions the player would face from the NBA once he goes pro, those are going to exist whenever the player joins the league, so not sure how that's relevant here. No, he can't go back and play college ball again, but that of course has been the NCAA's rule forever.
    The consequences of the kid breaking the contract would be very real and VERY expensive at Duke (and at many schools). If the NCAA institutes this as a rule, what prospective student-athlete, parent or advisor would ever want a $60,000 per year contractual judgement hanging over his/her head, no matter the future pipe-dream? Instead, let's consider matriculating to Duke, play in the best college basketball atmosphere in the country, study at one of the top academic institutions in the world, and possibly graduate from college (a novel thought).

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verga3 View Post
    The consequences of the kid breaking the contract would be very real and VERY expensive at Duke (and at many schools). If the NCAA institutes this as a rule, what prospective student-athlete, parent or advisor would ever want a $60,000 per year contractual judgement hanging over his/her head, no matter the future pipe-dream? Instead, let's consider matriculating to Duke, play in the best college basketball atmosphere in the country, study at one of the top academic institutions in the world, and possibly graduate from college (a novel thought).
    Hmm. How would Duke be damaged to the tune of $60,000 by a kid breaking his contract and leaving early? If hypothetically the kid signed a contract and DUKE broke it, reneged, etc. then I could see the kid having been damaged $60K, because he's lost the value of the tuition, books, room and board, and whatever else that he wasn't having to pay for and now, if he wants to continue at Duke, he'd have to come up with that money on his own. Those would be real damages.

    But the other way around, seems like not so much. If the kid leaves early, how is Duke damaged financially by a kid declining to accept the university's gift of $60,000?

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Hmm. How would Duke be damaged to the tune of $60,000 by a kid breaking his contract and leaving early? If hypothetically the kid signed a contract and DUKE broke it, reneged, etc. then I could see the kid having been damaged $60K, because he's lost the value of the tuition, books, room and board, and whatever else that he wasn't having to pay for and now, if he wants to continue at Duke, he'd have to come up with that money on his own. Those would be real damages.

    But the other way around, seems like not so much. If the kid leaves early, how is Duke damaged financially by a kid declining to accept the university's gift of $60,000?
    What do you mean by Duke breaking the contract? I'm not understanding.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verga3 View Post
    What do you mean by Duke breaking the contract? I'm not understanding.
    Sorry. Not clear.

    What I was trying to say was that in your proposed scenario, were the kid decides to go pro early and breaks his scholarship contract in order to do so, I don't see how the university is financially damaged by that -- it's just the kid declining to continue to accept a continuing gift -- tuition, room, board, books, etc. -- but that seems to be all it is.

    On the other hand, if in a different scenario, let's just say hypothetically that after one year of play, the school decides to renege on the scholarship contract, and said to the kid, "we don't want you at this university anymore, we're revoking your scholarship, you're out of here," then I could see the player being financially damaged by that, as he'd no longer be receiving the free tuition, room, board, books, etc. that he contracted for, and that would be a loss to him of $60K for each of the years remaining on the contract.

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Sorry. Not clear.

    What I was trying to say was that in your proposed scenario, were the kid decides to go pro early and breaks his scholarship contract in order to do so, I don't see how the university is financially damaged by that -- it's just the kid declining to continue to accept a continuing gift -- tuition, room, board, books, etc. -- but that seems to be all it is.

    On the other hand, if in a different scenario, let's just say hypothetically that after one year of play, the school decides to renege on the scholarship contract, and said to the kid, "we don't want you at this university anymore, we're revoking your scholarship, you're out of here," then I could see the player being financially damaged by that, as he'd no longer be receiving the free tuition, room, board, books, etc. that he contracted for, and that would be a loss to him of $60K for each of the years remaining on the contract.
    Thanks. Good points. My head was more on the players perspective. I appreciate your new take from the Duke reneging on the scholarship side, but I don't see that happening at Duke. Maybe a good NCAA rule to think through, though.

    I think Duke can be said to be "financially damaged" if the "contractual" player bolts to the NBA before the 3+ year contract. He/she might owe Duke $120,000+ if they leave before their junior year. Good policy for any University. It will happen only if the NCAA grows some and actually believes their promos/TV ads.

  17. #77
    I'm waiting for someone to propose a system which is better for the players than the current one. All the discussed scenarios are based on the premise that the players somehow owe the schools more than they're already giving them (which for early entrants is NBA-level talent).

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooskies View Post
    I'm waiting for someone to propose a system which is better for the players than the current one.
    To throw in a little pessimism, such a system honestly seems unlikely. When it comes to college athletics, there are simply too many different people, groups, and organizations pulling strings and trying to get their own piece of the pie: universities, coaches, the NCAA, the BCS, the NBA, the NBPA, the NFL, ESPN, CBS, ABC, agents, runners, the AAU system -- the list goes on. With all these different interests vying for influence, power, and money, the resulting system/situation is always going to be incredibly distorted and basically just really messy. But notice who isn't on the list of people pulling strings? Bingo: student-athletes. We can propose better systems for the players all we want, but someone has to enact that system, and of all the people with the power and influence to do that, students are not among them.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    What are the real consequences to the player for his breach of his contract? What are the actual, provable damages to the university? And even if the school goes to the trouble (and takes the PR hit) of actually filing a lawsuit against Knight, and then can somehow prove actual damages, doesn't Knight just write a check and move on?
    I think the fundamental flaw in this player contract idea is that you're trying to solve the problem entirely from the side of the NCAA, with no cooperation from the NBA. Once a player leaves college, the school and the NCAA have no jurisdiction over him, so as you say there can't be any consequences for him. The only way to solve this issue IMO is for the NCAA and NBA to work together on a solution. Then we could implement something like the 0/3 rule where a player has to either go pro straight from high school or stay in college for three years.

    The other issue I have with the player contract idea is that it gives an enormous advantage to the powerhouse schools who can afford to essentially pay their players. Mid-major teams can't do that, so you're taking away the parity that makes college ball so great.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I think the fundamental flaw in this player contract idea is that you're trying to solve the problem entirely from the side of the NCAA, with no cooperation from the NBA. Once a player leaves college, the school and the NCAA have no jurisdiction over him, so as you say there can't be any consequences for him. The only way to solve this issue IMO is for the NCAA and NBA to work together on a solution. Then we could implement something like the 0/3 rule where a player has to either go pro straight from high school or stay in college for three years.

    The other issue I have with the player contract idea is that it gives an enormous advantage to the powerhouse schools who can afford to essentially pay their players. Mid-major teams can't do that, so you're taking away the parity that makes college ball so great.
    I think the fundamental flaw is that the players are treated as pawns instead of people. It's about the NCAA and the NBA, not the players who we all want to watch. Who cares if college is rewarding to them in and of itself, or they have more to learn? Who cares if the organization is making millions or billions of dollars which it uses for its own betterment? At least Steve Kerr tries to answer the question of whether it's better for the player to stay in college, from a professional legacy standpoint. Yeah, sure, the level of play in college might increase. But that just means the NCAA is improving its product at the expense of legal adults, because those adults don't have a better choice (but deserve one). Regular students aren't tied into three-year contracts-- why should student-athletes be?

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