Basketball College Sports Football

The “No-College” Try?

The NCAA is the top collegiate athletic association in the United States. Over 1,200 schools belong to the organization split amongst three divisions. Last year (2017) the NCAA, a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, the NCAA brought in a total revenue of $1.06 Billion. Approximately 77% of that was brought in by the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship television and marketing rights.

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(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

With the announcements of defensive lineman Nick Bosa leaving the Ohio State football team and the NBA G-League beginning to offer six-figure contracts to select 18-year-old prospects, many are left wondering how these will affect college sports now and in the future. Many have argued against the rules forcing athletes to spend a certain amount of time in college before transitioning to a top professional league.

The NFL requires players to be three years removed from high school and use up their college eligibility, the latter of which can be waived by the NFL. The NBA currently requires players to be 19 years old and one year removed from high school in order to be draft eligible. In the past, these rules assured the NCAA would have a steady flow of top tier talent to fill in the rosters of their member schools. The increased talent pool guaranteed more competition and better quality of the product. The better quality product lead to the now billion dollar industry of collegiate athletics.

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The NBA allowing their G-League to poach players straight out of high school threatens the inflated structure of college athletics. March Madness is the most important revenue stream for the NCAA. If the best players in the country don’t play in the tournament, is it worth watching? Are the University of Kentucky Wildcats a watchable team without a consistent crop of one-and-done players?

The G-League has hopes to be a true minor-league farm system, much like that of Major League Baseball. The MLB also has a less stringent set of eligibility rules, allowing high school graduates to declare immediately without losing their ability to play for a college team. Having a developmental system in place allows young talent to prosper with playing time rather than wasting away on the bench.

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With all of the controversy surrounding the lack of pay for student-athletes, another playing forgoing the traditional college route is just more evidence of an antiquated system that may need revisions should it ever become less profitable.

 

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