The recent NCAA basketball scandal
Should the athletes get paid for the entertainment they provide on the court, especially when collegiate coaches receive gaudy contracts as a result of their player's blood, sweat and tears? It's a debate that has existed for quite some time, though not many have stopped to evaluate the central problem as to why this has been such a longstanding issue in the first place.
The answer is somewhat simple. There are high school basketball players who are at such an elite level that they deserve to be paid immediately. Unfortunately, they have limited routes or options in receiving financial benefits, thus, the vicious circle of illegal recruiting practices begins.
“The NCAA is a billion-dollar business. You’re telling a kid like Trae Young, who is killing it and you’re telling me alumni or someone else can’t take him out to a nice dinner?,” @brandonjennings who went to Italy instead of Arizona. https://t.co/KJSwcp2XXr #nba @TheUndefeated— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) March 2, 2018
ESPN's Senior Writer Brian Windhorst reports that NBA commissioner Adam Silver could be stepping in shortly to fix the current map structure.
With scandals rocking youth & college basketball, the NBA is quietly getting ready to step in and get involved with elite high school players again: https://t.co/xpWbCG9VHv— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) March 5, 2018
The idea is to provide a more reasonable passage for those gifted high schoolers, which gives the NBA more access to their development without top NCAA programs having to consistently see one-and-done athletes
According to Windhorst, "the league might be looking at how it can get in touch with prospects while they're playing in high school with camps, tournaments and other connection points as they move through high school.
"In this way, the league could bring in some of its experts to advise high-level prospects on training methods, recovery, nutrition and life skills. All this in addition to providing professional coaching and playing techniques that could better translate to the professional game and make the eventual transition to the NBA, G League or even high-level college basketball easier."
NBA to adjust the "one-and-done" age-limit rule, to get involved with high school prospects? https://t.co/0TdPk9sVvO— Sportando (@Sportando) March 5, 2018
How can this help the NCAA? It evens the playing field for students who actually want to commit time to the university they have selected to play for. It selectively separates the talent level from those who are physically and mentally ready to join the NBA from those who need more time to develop. It also gives young athletes who are good enough to play at the highest level another route to enter the NBA instead of half-heartedly using college athletics to bridge the short gap.
Perhaps fewer scandals, shady under-the-table money and recruiting practices could be the result since the rarest, blue-chip prospects will now have more leverage in where they want to go and how they want to get their instead of college coaches risking the farm to illegally obtain them.