The national media spent the day breaking down — and in most cases, slamming — the NCAA Commission on College Basketball’s recommendations on how to fix the sport. We went over those recommendations this morning, but the best recap I’ve seen comes from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Myron Medcalf, and Jeff Borzello, who argue the report is a failure because it deflects the biggest issue facing college hoops: not compensating players.
“It’s preposterous to think that abolishing the one-and-done rule will fix all of college basketball’s problems,” Givony writes. “The much bigger issue is not allowing players to profit from their likeness, receive endorsement deals or be properly compensated by schools for the huge amount of money they generate, one the commission conveniently deflected, citing ongoing litigation and other issues.
“The word ‘agent’ is mentioned 107 times in the report; ‘advisor’ 28 times and ‘third parties’ 23 times. At some point, the NCAA will need to stop looking for boogeymen to blame for its issues, look in the mirror and try to understand why players are being approached so successfully by different people in the basketball industry. If the NCAA won’t allow players to earn money, they will always find someone else who can.”
Ultimately, all of the problems facing college basketball stem from money. Players at every level help their team succeed, which in turn helps the school profit. Yes, they get a scholarship and a stipend, but can you imagine how much money John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Karl Towns, etc. have made for Kentucky? And they barely see a cent. That kind of hypocrisy is what got the NCAA into this mess in the first place, and instead of addressing it head on, the committee deflected, making today’s report a total joke.
Do yourself a favor and go read ESPN’s summary. And continue to be disappointed in a system that will never truly be reformed.