Who pays to play?

John Infante’s post about paying young basketball players is a useful exercise in trying to climb out of the box the NCAA’s amateurism standard has placed college athletics.  Rather than putting the burden on the schools to change, he’s looked instead for a path to incentive the NBA to abandon the way it does business.  The sooner the pros will pay a kid, the more pressure that takes off the colleges to do so.

Paying college basketball players without fixing the system immediately below it also threatens to simply shift problems downward. To fix basketball, everyone needs to get what they want. The best prospects need the shortest path to a pro career. The NBA needs a system to evaluate players before they are drafted or signed. And the NCAA wants a supply of talented players who are committed to college.

Read the whole thing.  I’m not suggesting it’s a complete panacea.  And I don’t know how much of what he proposes translates neatly to football.  But it’s a good place to start a discussion about how to fix things.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

6 responses to “Who pays to play?

  1. simpl_matter

    Did anybody else catch The Daily Show’s segment on the O’Bannon suit last night? I know the NCAA hopes not!


  2. Monday Night Frotteur

    An interesting model, but the NBA had territorial restrictions (aka “territorial picks”; Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson were drafted that way) at one time and most owners hated that model and moved away from it. I suspect that territorial developmental restrictions are a complete, 100% non-starter for the NBA and NFL, in large part because it doesn’t facilitate the parity they crave. Territorial development rights are a good way for an unpopular sport (e.g. soccer in the US) to gain a foothold, but no sport maintains that system after it reaches the degree of popularity the NFL and NBA have.

    I also suspect the players wouldn’t agree to this in a CBA when there’s a much simpler solution (eliminate age restrictions and force colleges to at least allow un-regulated outside income (“Olympic Model”)).