Well, first off, I'm not arguing for or against any particular solution. I'm not even sure if there is one. I'm only responding to earlier comments which seemed to imply that there isn't even a real problem -- or that the NCAA has no obligation whatsoever to conduct its business legitimately.
Originally Posted by lotusland
And my point is that I agree with you... sort of. As an educational institution, the NCAA has no responsibility to provide a fair path to the NBA. That would be the minor league's responsibility. However, I would argue that the NCAA is not an educational institution. At least, in part. With the way NCAA basketball and football are currently structured, they actually are minor leagues: they sign big-time television contracts and shoe deals, build professional-quality facilities, weild incredible resources, have nationally diverse fanbases, and of course, pay (some of) their employees multi-million dollar salaries. They make the NBDL look like a rec league.
Originally Posted by lotusland
These are not the activities of an academic institution that wants nothing more than to provide it's students with the option of modest inter-collegiate sports. No, this is the behavior of a sports organization looking to profit from its product. They maintain their extremely tenous link with the universities they represent for two (inordinately profitable) legal reasons: no taxes, plus free labor. Like I said above, not an illegal or purely evil thing to do, but you still have to recognize it for what it is, a charade.
Looking at this from a standpoint of pure rhetoric (and not from financial gain or general realism), the only justifiable move the NCAA and its member schools could make, according to their own "principles," would be to burn it all down and take us back to the stone ages. They would have to reneg on all their TV contracts, give up the shoe deals, discontinue athletic "scholarships" and recruiting, and start paying themselves salaries that actually reflect their positions (i.e. somewhat above highschool coaches). Full disclosure, I would be really upset if the NCAA did this, but unless they do they will continue to be hyprocrites every time they claim to "uphold the dignity of the student-athlete." The fact that they never, ever would do this shows you exactly what their real priorities are.
Like I said before, I don't know what the solution is. Certainly, anything as simplistic as "pay the players" is never going to work. The 3-year contract is interesting and I haven't seen it proposed before, but I ultimately think that any lottery pick would just sneeze at a $60,000 fine for going pro. To them, that is just one empty parking space in their 8-car garage.
In any case, however, what I cannot stand for is pretending that there is not a problem to begin with, as if the NCAA's position is completely and perfectly justified. It isn't. Again, they aren't evil, but they also certainly are not the last defenders of amatuer athletics. Recognizing that fundamental inconcsistency is the first step to finding a solution, whatever it may be.
(Can you tell how busy I am at work right now? )
"With seven national titles and 20 Final Fours in the 64-team NCAA Tournament era, Duke and UNC have had more playoff success than any other CONFERENCE." - Al Featherston