Every time you hear a coach or administrator in the NCAA say, “It’s all about the kids and making their lives better” when referring to student-athletes, you try to take their word for it. Their big salaries and kushy jobs exist solely from the kids they are allegedly “looking out” for. However, when you read about rule changes for kids trying to take their talents to the NBA, it looks as though these high-paid folks are putting themselves above the athletes that keep their pockets fat.
The NCAA passed a rule that any player that declares for the NBA draft must decide whether to stay or go by the first day of the Spring early signing period. That date falls in mid-April not even a full month after the season officially ends. Kids would have to make their decision, get evaluated, then talk with scouts/coaches/confidants about whether to stay all within a months time in which they are finishing up classes and making up work they missed during the latter part of the season. For a group that is supposed to further the lives of their student-athletes, that is a ridiculous expectation.
Players did have until the last week of May to determine whether or not they are prepared from the NBA. Most would have said they needed more time to be evaluated. The NCAA has proven time and time again that what most people think is right for the kids isn’t right at all.
I’ve seen that stupid commercial where it talks about the 50,000 student-athletes who will go pro in something other than sports when their college career is done. For most, that truly is the case. But, for a guy majoring in communications that happens to have a deadly jump-shot, the way he is going to make money and become successful is through basketball.
For example, a basketball player with a degree in physical education will make more money his first 5 years out of college playing ball in Istanbul than teaching 4th and 5th graders how to play kick ball for 40 years. The degree is nice to fall back on should they not cut it or get injured, but in most cases players would take significant pay-cuts taking a “real job”. Isn’t the NCAA’s job to put kids in position to be a successful as possible?
Would a college keep a junior set to graduate in accounting from interning at Wells-Fargo before their senior year? How about an art major from getting some professional studio work in to see if that’s what they really wanted to do? Someone who wants to be a pro basketball player should have the same rights as someone who wants to be a doctor or lawyer.
Like it or not, college basketball players are already professionals. Just look at the money they bring into the NCAA through merchandise and March Madness. The front of being a “student-athlete” that the NCAA portrays is absurd. If a guy wants to test his talents and see if he’s ready for the pros, the NCAA should embrace it. Shortening the time they have to be evaluated is the definition of counter-productivity.
Let’s be honest and not let these pompous NCAA wind-bags insult our intelligence. This rule is designed to help coaches, not players. It’s sole purpose is to make life more difficult on 18-22 year old kids generating billions of dollars for the organization ands easier for coaches who reap the benefits. The NCAA should embrace the fact that their sport (college hoops) helps turn kids who never would’ve went to college into millionaires. Instead, they think it is making a mockery or the “student-athlete” principle.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the NCAA does whatever it can to fatten their own pockets. Sure they have programs here and there that are beneficial to current and former athletes, but just because Al Capone bought every one in the Chicago ghetto Thanksgiving turkeys every year doesn’t mean he was a noble human being.
All this psuedo-caring is all a front. The hypocrisy of the NCAA is more evident today than it ever has been. And I only expect it to get worse as the years go on.