Monday, June 2, 2014

Bill Self says 2-year rule just fine with him

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins laughs with Jayhawks' head coach Bill Self after Self made a joke about how he could still come back during a news conference in which Wiggins declared his intention to enter the NBA Draft on Monday, March 31, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. To his right are his mother Marita Wiggins, brother Mitchell Wiggins Jr. and father Mitchell. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins laughs with Jayhawks' head coach Bill Self after Self made a joke about how he could still come back during a news conference in which Wiggins declared his intention to enter the NBA Draft on Monday, March 31, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. To his right are his mother Marita Wiggins, brother Mitchell Wiggins Jr. and father Mitchell. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo


If first-year NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s Players Association ultimately agree on a new “two-and-done” rule, there actually will be some contented college freshmen and sophomore stars.

So says Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who has observed emotional news conferences in which lottery picks such as Xavier Henry, Ben McLemore, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid have made it perfectly clear how much they loved their brief stays in Lawrence.

“I will say this, and I bet you could say this about Jabari (Parker, Duke) also, although I don’t know his situation personally, but if the rule was two years, you would have two kids at Kansas that would be happy — Wiggins and Embiid,” Self said last week on Mike and Ike’s CBS radio show in Philadelphia.

“The way it’s set up, they had to leave. It was the right decision for them the way it’s set up. But they would not have been disappointed one bit if they had to come back, because I think there’s a natural maturation process that needs to take place. You can’t force feed. Both those guys would have benefited tremendously from another year in college.”

But ... “You could also make the case both will benefit tremendously by playing in the pros at an accelerated rate,” Self quickly added. “But will they be more prepared to live that life by maybe being a year older? That’s the Catch-22. I think in most circumstances it probably would benefit them (staying two years).”

NBA general managers have expressed concern that one-and-done players — who are expected to be immediate NBA franchise players — enter the league having never had a leadership role on a college team.

It could be awhile before something is done about that. Players and owners can opt out of the current collective-bargaining agreement after the 2016-17 season.

“I think the rare ones ... we’ve all chased that American dream. To me, to put a limit on somebody as talented as one of the all-time greats, it would be very difficult to put those limits on him based on what he could potentially do for his family coming out of high school,” Self said. He conceded it would be a shame to make somebody as talented as, say, LeBron James, have to play two years in college before reaping NBA riches.

Silver stresses that a youngster still could go overseas or enter the NBA Developmental League if he wanted to start earning a paycheck rather than attend college two years.

Self wishes it’d be possible for a group of NBA execs or scouts or former players to study the high school talent each year and allow exceptions if a player is obviously good enough to head straight to the league.

“I have a hard time saying if you have LeBron out there the kid couldn’t leave out of high school. I think it would be sad to have LeBron have to stay two years in college,” Self said on Philly radio. “There’s probably no way to do this, but I wish there could be a committee in place to evaluate high school kids. Of course there would be maybe one or two a year qualified to make the jump. After that, the kids need to stay in two years.

“I think that (committee decision) would be best for everybody,” he added. “It gives kids an opportunity to leave who can leave. It would eliminate bad decisions. On the flip side, kids would have the opportunity to stay in college two years and not make a mockery possibly out of the academic system, so I think it would make the best of all worlds. I think there’s a good chance it will go to two years.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert has said the one-and-done rule “makes a travesty of the whole notion of student as an athlete. It simply creates the wrong type of environment for us (colleges).”

To be eligible as a freshman, a basketball player must be eligible for fall semester. A one-and-done conceivably could refuse to attend class second semester and remain eligible that one season.

Self has been able to prevent that from happening at KU by telling players they must leave KU in good academic standing or they are not welcome to attend any team functions or reunions in the future.

KU’s APR has been perfect for seven straight years now, meaning the one-and-dones have been able to take care of academic business before leaving to work out with personal trainers after the season.

“One-and-done, the only way it makes a mockery of the educational system is if a student goes to college and is there one year, he passes six hours first semester, none second semester, is eligible the whole year and helps the team win,” Self said. “That’s a mockery of the educational system. Fortunately that hasn’t happened at all. The one-and-dones have been good for our sport.

“Was (Kevin) Durant good for our sport? Was (Derrick) Rose good for our sport? I think the best thing is kids go when they are ready (which the committee could decide).”

Devil’s advocate would say members of the NBA’s committee might have selfish interests at stake. Teams with the top picks might push for getting some good, but not can’t-miss high school seniors, eligible for the draft.

“Baseball has a minor-league system to prepare guys,” Self said. “In college baseball, a player who does not sign out of high school must stay in college three seasons. With football, 18-year-olds are not ready to go physically. The NFL is a totally different animal in that regard.”

Players who are three years removed from high school can enter the NFL Draft.

“Basketball is one sport a guy could be gifted enough physically to experience success. I wish every kid would have to stay three and all that. In the big scheme of things, it’s looking at it with selfish eyes. Families have sacrificed so much. By staying, they risk the opportunity. That doesn’t seem fair, either,” Self said.


Charlie B. Gonesoon 7 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Let them go if they want to go. But if they choose college, they should have to make a commitment.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

It's up to the employer (NBA) to determine the conditions of employment for the employees (players). There are always going to be those rare exceptions that truly are ready for the NBA at 18 and a lot of kids have ruined their lives by thinking they were an exception and didn't need college. Guys like LeBron and Kobe were going to be superstars whether they were forced to go to Ohio State or Duke instead of jumping to the pros. If the NBA feels the vast majority of its employees would benefit more from having to wait until they're at least 20 before entering their league, that is their right to collectively bargain for that rule.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

Agree Aaron but I'm not sure the NBA should be in the business of setting age limits.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

The NFL does and no one complains about it. The NBA has a right to make sure the talent coming in is prepared. It's just like someone saying you need a degree before we will hire you. Apples and oranges I know, but very similar.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

Isn't the NFL age limit supposedly about player safety and preventing injuries? The NBA age limit is about GMs not getting burned by drafting busts.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

RE: Silver stresses that a youngster still could go overseas or enter the NBA Developmental League if he wanted to start earning a paycheck rather than attend college two years.

If the 2AD rule passes as Silver (and I for that matter) hope it DOES, the first thing Emmert should do is push an agenda where a student-athletic stipend is valued at about 5,000 per year above the cost of tuition, books, room and board. In a very real sense, these players are working themselves through school like non-athlete students, requiring a commitment in terms of time. But unlike non-athlete students, athletes generate MILLIONS for their universities and the NCAA. If you want to eliminate the argument between the big and small schools that would result from such a decision, have the NCAA return some of their profits to the universities for the purpose of offering stipends to students at schools with enrollments below a certain number. Perhaps there should be a tiered formula so that reimbursement to small schools isn't all-or-nothing, and financial decisions aren't being made at colleges with the temptation to stay small for fear of losing athletic dollars. The larger a program gets the less it receives in NCAA stipend subsidies, but by virtue of its increase in size it can afford to provide its own. In any event, the NCAA doesn't need to sit on all that money especially when it is being earned on the backs of the very students to whom the NCAA owes its very existence. Excuse me. If I'm Ben McLemore and come from a poor background yet I fill the stands in Allen night in night out, I should at least be able to afford driving a beater around town to get to Walmart to purchase some college-ruled paper and a backpack I need for classes. And even if Im not McLemore, my commitment helps to sustain the athletic program Im in and has value. The argument that athletes are reimbursed with an education is too simplistic as many of them have to struggle through financially to get it, even while they're on scholarship! More to the point, to prevent an exodus of potential student-athletes overseas or to the D-league, the NCAA needs to incentivize athletes' coming to college. I have no issue with the NCAA making money (if athletes benefit by some formula); and in the name of sound business it's a good decision to welcome the best athletes to keep your various sports more entertaining.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't share your position.

What does the athlete deserve? The athlete "deserves" what he/she agrees to.

What folks forget is the value of what is being provided to them. Not just monetarily, but in the future. Their position as athletes open significant doors to employment if they choose to pursue it. From coaching to other endeavors. For example, Jay Bilas would never have his stage but for playing hoops at Duke. There are many athletes who get a door opened because of an alum. This all seems to be forgotten. Would Marcus Morris have made it in the NBA (making millions) without his development at KU? I doubt it.

There are many, many students who drive "beaters" and don't have much money, and struggle.

This goes back to the "deal." If the scholarship "deal" is not fair, then the athlete should not take the "deal." You say that the NCAA needs to "incentivize" kids coming to college. It seems that they have. And they come. Who doesn't come? Seems that the scholarship incentive and the best avenue to developing as a player is the good old NCAA. Prevent an exodus? Why didn't Wiggins go play a year in Europe? There must be something about the NCAA experience that is valuable -- thus demonstrating the value of the scholarship. (and kids can't go D-league, I believe, until they would be eligible for the draft -- one year removed).

The logic on "filling the stands" is not valid, either. Allen Fieldhouse is full with or without any player, let alone Ben McLemore.

I'm not saying that some reform isn't needed or wise. It probably is. But it's a tremendous deal for nearly all athletes.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

Kids can play in DLeague at 18 on a "DLeague contract". But they can't be on contract with the NBA franchise. Then, the year that they turn 19 they are eligible for the NBA draft.

So theoretically Wiggins could have played his one season for the NBADLs Rio Grande Valley Vipers, but he would still have to enter the NBA via the draft or free agency for the undrafted, and wouldn't be bound or affiliated with the Houston Rockets even though he played for their affiliated team.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

RE: "What does the athlete deserve? The athlete "deserves" what he/she agrees to."

So if people agree to work in sweat shops, it must be obvious that the owners of the sweat shop are NOT taking advantage of them and the system is fair. "Obviously." My argument is that there needs to be new terms which are more equitable to athletes that they may agree to.


You may not know that the NCAA has had to fight antitrust lawsuits recently, some of which have been settled with the NCAA coming out on the losing side. For you to then suggest that an athlete deserves what is agreed to with an organization who has been found repeatedly in the wrong concerning the athletes and programs it governs smacks of a kind of unrealistic bias that does not critically weigh all the factors involved in making a rational decision on the issue.

Sweat shops for everyone!

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

And for the record, I am not equating college basketball with sweat shops in terms of the working conditions. Im highlighting that the same principle is in play: that in both cases people agree to be there, yet the product they produce is GROSSLY disproportionately less (as in orders of magnitude) than the compensation they receive, i.e., that they are not getting what they "deserve", to use your word.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

@Jack: As far as incentivizing students to come to college, you missed my point COMPLETELY. If the 2AD rule is adopted, kids may be lured overseas or to the D-League to play for pay. That is totally acceptable. But my point addresses this eventuality, and the POTENTIAL consequence that college basketball may have some potentially good players leave if they dont offer more attractiveness to the college game than what exists currently. Again, the temptation to go elsewhere other than college would be INCREASED above what it is now if the 2AD age-limit rule is adopted.

Sure there is attractiveness in the system as it is. You argue as if I say there isnt when I have said nothing of the sort. But this is a poor thread of logic if you are using it to argue for the status quo. Using the argument of "attractiveness" as you brought up, there is still the point to be decided upon as to whether or not the system is as attractive as it could be.

It isnt.

To be clear, arguments are being made to address the way the system SHOULD BE. Not by me only (and BY me, only as a reaction to the larger social discussion), but more importantly by Silver and Emmert.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Jack, an athletic scholarship to sports like football and basketball is supposed to be valued at the cost of attendance for that specific university. Two of the biggest issues with this are that universities under value their cost of attendance so athletes on full scholarship do not end up having all their costs covered.

The other issue is that the smaller sports such a rowing (I use this because I dated a rower while at KU) can't give full rides and the time commitment doesn't permit them to work either.

I completely understand that these players agree to the terms of the scholarship when they sign the paperwork, but that does not mean that the system isn't broken because it most definitely is a significantly flawed system in need of reform.

There is absolutely no legitimate reason why an athlete shouldn't be able to go out to eat with friends and the friends voluntarily pay for the athletes meal without all the red tape involved in that. There's also no reason why an athlete shouldn't be able to go see a movie or a concert, but most don't have the money to do stuff like that on a regular basis unless their families have some money.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

I think what you are mentioning are fringe issues, and I personally agree with your position.

There is nothing stopping these athletes from working in the summer and pooling their money to use during the season. Most do work in the summer if they need to. I knew a number of athletes that did this.

Also, while it is nice to think that a kid should be able to go to a concert or out to eat, why is a kid entitled to that? The legitimate issue is the same legitimate issue that kids have when they don't play sports -- they don't have the money. That's life. There were times when I couldn't afford to do things I wanted to do.

Again, I like some of the reform ideas, particularly what the big conferences are looking at regarding increasing scholarship money.

But remember, the minute any of this is done for revenue sports (football, men's hoops), every Title IX lawyer will extend their hands for the 4th women's golfer and say, "me too."

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

To equate an NCAA scholarship to sweat shops is beyond logic. Seriously, how can your argument be taken seriously if that's your analogy? I do understand your point on choice, but a kid can do whatever he or she wants, right? The kid can skip college, get a job at McDonald's, and really see what it's like to work.

I am fully aware of the anti-trust lawsuits. I guess I would say this -- the current law permits how the NCAA handles scholarships. It is that way until it isn't. And even then, many times, it is the court interpreting statutes, which could mean a different interpretation based on which court is hearing the case. Cases can "challenge" things, but that doesn't mean they prevail, or that they prevail on appeal.

It is a difference in perspective, as well. The NCAA has all of the risk (monetary investment), and so do the member schools. They have built all the facilities, and provide the venue for athletes. The entity of the NCAA creates the market for the kids. If there is a better option, build it -- I'm sure they'd come.

Too many times folks with the money get demonized. It's like Hostess -- sure, the employees want more. But the business can just shut down, like it did. The employees can then find alternative work.

An athlete is privileged to receive a scholarship. It is an honor. It is ridiculous and short-sighted to view them as exploited. That view point comes from folks that, generally, despise the folks that have money, and create opportunities for others.

And Jonathan, thanks for the D-league clarification.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

The revenue disportionality between Hostess and its employees and the NCAA and its athletes are miles apart. Read this article for example, that addresses how much money NCAA basketball earns...IN MARCH ALONE. Its gonna surprise you, I promise. Maybe even enough to make you angry.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

It does not make me angry at all. It actually makes me happy. This is America. Those who have a product or skill are entitled to make money. The NCAA has a massively entertaining and effective product. It makes you angry, apparently, because you think that those that don't have the skill or ability to create such a product should somehow "profit share" in the entity. I'm not paying my staff because my enterprise makes more money. Now, I might if it is a valued employee with bargaining power. But I have incurred all the risk.

I don't get upset when Lebron James make multiple millions or some idiot that can scream in to microphone get millions. They fill seats. They do something marketable. Compare to teachers -- they do fine service. But a much great % of the population can do exactly what they do. Not as marketable.

If the kid wasn't in college, he might be flipping burgers for multi-billion dollar multi-national corporation like McDonalds, where the CEO makes $50 million a year.

You gotta put in your time.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Those who provide the entertainment for the NCAA tournament get NO COMPENSATION for it. Thats not capitalism. Thats socialism. Better get your economic paradigms straight.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

You are wrong. It is NOT beyond logic. It is the principle in play that is being compared, in terms of whether or not those generating the revenue are fairly compensated. Besides, the sweat shop comparison highlights the error of your thinking: that just because an agreement is reached means that both sides are getting what they deserve. If I can show the error of that logic in one instance, it destroys your point and I can use that to build a case on an issue that may perhaps be less obvious. You are conflating two things: the seriousness of the offense and the principle in play. Just because the gravity of the offenses are not the same does not mean the logic is poor. Try again.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Uh, no. If you say that I should not swim because there are man eating sharks in the ocean, and I say I'm swimming at the hotel pool, your argument is completely invalid. Apples and oranges. No sharks in the pool. If you say that I shouldn't swim in the ocean because I could drown, and I'm swimming at the hotel pool, your argument is much weaker because the two swimming venues have much different risk.

Your argument is the second one. Ok, sure, you're arguing the difference in bargaining power. I get that.

But it is a much different dynamic -- a kid going to college and getting a full ride to play hoops vs. a parent trying to make sure their family eats each night.

So, yes, the logic is poor. Connected? Arguable? Sure. But weak. Very weak.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

Jack, you have valid points, but today's NCAA is vastly different than the past. The idea of a student athlete is antiquated unfortunately. Alabama football made 135 million last year. Do the stipends for players increase? The NCAA is about money, hence the reason the conferences have been shifting recently. We have West Virginia, a school 5 hours away from an airport in our conference now because they bring in money. When do the athletes study during that trip? Missouri, now flies to Florida, South Carolina, Georgia for sporting events for money, not for the good of athletes. I can go on, but times have changed and athletes are being taken advantaged of now.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

Good comment Joe, it sounds like something that the NCAA should have the ability to fund for all NCAA scholarship athletes based on revenues from basketball and football.

I do think that basketball players should have the option to be drafted to the NBA at 18 years old or with a HS diploma or equivalent, but the NBA needs to "develop" their developmental league into a feeder league. It wouldn't need to be as extensive as baseball's minor league system, but it needs to be better than the current DLeague. This does of course have some major considerations. Can an NBA franchise support the developmental teams, and an expanded roster (15 players on NBA bench, and 15 players with NBA league minimum contracts playing in DLeague)? It would be much better for the players, because it would effectively double number of players with NBA contracts. It would give teams great flexability to be able to pull players from DLeague if any player is out for significant time (Lakers could have used this last year). It could be good for NBA veterans coming back off of injury or surgery to transition back to NBA through the DLeague like baseball players do with AAA.

To me this looks appealing because each year you have 30 to 60 players coming in the draft who will take a spot on a roster that will likely force out some players who may still have value to the franchise, but this effectively would increase the volume of NBA rosters so that more players are developed and have an opportunity to make the NBA bench and perform on the big stage. Teams wouldn't have to make the tough decision to cut an aging veteran who can only play 40 minutes a week, instead they can cut a player from the DLeague affiliate and can alternate their veteran to the DLeague week by week to keep him fresh without tying up a seat on the bench while he rests.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree that the D-League model needs improvement, at least partially for the reasons you eloquently express. Right now would be the opportune time to address changes across the landscape, both in the D-League AND in the college game...IF the 2AD/age-limit rule is a adopted.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with improving the D League. Here would be my suggestion, if the high school player wants to come out, then he gets drafted by a team and plays for their D League team for 2 years before being called up. Would still be the same as the 20 year rule, but he can make some money while developing. Some guys may need the money sooner than others and this would be a compromise.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

great idea, plus it would greatly encourage NBA teams to not pick players straight from HS because they would not be able to help your team on the court for two more years. However, if the player is Lebron James, then you can lock him up for a rookie contract out of Hs if you're willing to pay millions for a player who will only play one season of his three year rookie deal for your NBA franchise.

It would open the door for NBA to make the draft rule more similar to the MLB rule which allows players to be automatically eligible to be drafted out of HS with the option of going pro or going to college. Say, a player is considered a phenom but the NBA teams hesitate to draft him because he won't suit up in the NBA for two years and he slips into the second round, then he can determine not to go with the NBA and to go instead to college for two years and become the #1 draft pick and an immediate impact player in the NBA.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

Let's also consider how many European players get drafted and stay in Europe to develop. This idea would not be any different honestly.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree, Joe. Being student athletes they are working and generating so much money for the college. Give them some of that money back and there will be a better chance of them staying. People can argue that they are playing a sport and not working, but how can anyone have time to play a D1 college sport, go to classes, do hw, and also work a part time job that realisticly pays minimum wage? It's just not possible and these guys need some sort of compensation for the money they generate. Now I will say that if you are going to accept your scholarship and accept the added benefit then you should stay all 4 years. If you break the contract then pay it back immediately. And the players staying only 2 years still isn't good enough, even though it's a step in the right direction. Education is first in our country, or at least should be, so we all need to find a way to keep them in college for all 4 years.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Ok .. curious. Why not give McDonalds workers more money? I mean they cook the burgers, right?

Why? Because of supply and demand. Anyone can cook a burger, so the salary/wage rate is low.

Same in college sports. If Wiggins didn't play, then Green or White would have. We wouldn't have cared.

When the supply decreases, kids flooding away from the NCAA game, that will would change things.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

I respectfully disagree. I think Wiggins made a HUGE difference and we would definitely care. Look at the publicity from Wiggins. Look at how many Jerseys were sold with his number on them. When you go to McDonalds you don't know the names of the person flipping your burger. You don't say, "I want Jack to flip my burger today and I'll pay the premium price for it." You go in, get your burger, and get out. The point here is each player generates profit for their University. It may not have the name on the jersey, but the number is there. Players see none of that. And do we give higher profile players more money? I don't know that part of it, but I think the first right step is to start giving them all a little big extra because they provide entertainment, which is a job.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Now, giving the a "little" extra is fine. It's not a continental shift.

KU basketball would have been the same with or without Wiggins. Same money, same everything.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

Jersey sales would have been the same? Publicity would have been the same? Media coverage the same? Our record? Without Wiggins this year would have been nothing close to the same.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm not giving McDonalds workers more money because those burgers suck lol.

Matt Bowers 7 years, 7 months ago

Joe, I agree the players should be paid, but I don't think it should be KU paying them. It is my opinion that the NCAA should be paying these student athletes minimum wage for every required activity. The NCAA brings in over a billion dollars in revenue and they make all the rules, make them pay. Student athletes should be paid for practice, film, weight training and games. Of course, this will be in addition to the full ride. This more than anything, will also help our student athlete with the business side of sports. Just my opinion though.

Rock Chalk

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

Joe, you make a really good argument for stipends as the top level players do bring in millions of dollars for the University. If the student/athlete is now required to a second year, what recourse do they have if they are seriously injured? Even if everything goes well during the second year, the players will have missed out on a year where they could have been generating revenue for themselves.

But Jack also makes a valid point that the players deserve what they signed up for. They may decide that two years of playing in the Euro league will give them a better basketball education than playing in the NCAA.

This is one of those decisions where a lot of factors need to be settled. Personally, I wish they decided on two years past their high school graduation but there needs to be some sort of compensation if a player has what is considered a career ending type of injury.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if we will ever evolve to have the level of intelligence to understand how to sit down and talk about difficult issues with the understanding that although our position is valid, so is the other persons. I am not talking about blowing off steam by posting here. I am talking about organizations, lawmakers and the common people that are directly involved. Common Sense seems absent in discussions like these anymore. Athletes, Schools, TV/Radio, and the NCAA all have a direct interest in this topic, for all sports. The NBA can be added as an indirect party for College Basketball, but they can only act on how it pertains to them, not anyone else in College sports. There is a common element for all, the money or lack thereof in the college game, depending on who you are. If we apply common sense to the discussion there are gaps for the student athletes compared to what they bring to the school they attend in money. You cannot rectify this for just the basketball team or football team, the main budget contributors. Equal treatment on whatever will be decided will be needed among all sports and that could be a significant amount of money and will have to come from somewhere. This discussion deserves to be had within the context of the value of the scholarship, all the tutors, aid, and everything else that is provided to the athlete that is not provided to the common student. These all have value and need to be agreed to as they figure out what is fair, reasonable for each athlete. Deserve should be replaced with reasonable within the context of the discussion. Trying to figure this out on your own, like unionizing, or making a few concessions is not going to get it done. All 4 direct parties will need to sit down and discuss a plan that works for all parties, as reasonable as possible for all. As with most of the difficult issues that seem to be in front of us, this is just one. Healthcare, Jobs, the Deficit, Climate Change, Gun Control etc... seem out of reach for some reason right now since we have melted into a quagmire of shouting voices that have resulted in nothing being accomplished. It might seem unattainable to see how we can get things done now, but if you would have told me 20 years ago that I would be able to carry in my hand 15,000 songs that I can search for by voice in my car, while my car tells me how to get to a new place, while I take a call hands free, while my car if needed breaks for me, or can park for me... In 1994 this seemed possible but not something I would see in my lifetime. My point is this, we used to be able to get things done that needed fixing. Now it seems beyond us. For this issue I think all of us should be asking for the interested parties sit down in meetings with representatives for all parties so that this can be resolved. How hard can that be? Until that happens, to me, all of this is just pointless shouting.

Jay Beakum 7 years, 7 months ago

Two And Through (TAT) How about that?

I like the two year rule a lot, but the committee to decide which guys might be able to go straight out of high school is a can of worms. No way should that happen. Just make the rule and stick with it. If another Lebron James comes along then good for college basketball.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree 100%! College could use a Lebron ... only if he comes to KU though! Lol

Bryce Landon 7 years, 7 months ago

Two and through sounds better than one and done.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

Two and a title sounds better, as long as KU wins lol.

Mike Riches 7 years, 7 months ago

There are so few players that come out of high school ready for the NBA (who wouldn't truly benefit from college experience.) For every Lebron James or Moses Malone, there seems to be several Kwame Browns and Eddy Curry's. I have no problem with NBA owners protecting their 7 figure investments with a minimum age policy. High schoolers are not forced in any way to go to college. If they want to pass up the national media coverage, massive physical and game improvements and all the other "perks" that come with being a college athlete...and play overseas, in the DL, or just sit out, that is 100% their choice to make. Most would probably feel like Wiggins and Embiid, grateful for their college experience, and perhaps even more so if it were longer than a year.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Mike -- you said: "High schoolers are not forced in any way to go to college. If they want to pass up the national media coverage, massive physical and game improvements and all the other "perks" that come with being a college athlete...and play overseas, in the DL, or just sit out, that is 100% their choice to make. Most would probably feel like Wiggins and Embiid, grateful for their college experience, and perhaps even more so if it were longer than a year."

That is pure common sense that most don't seem to want to hear. Folks fail to recognize all that a D-1 athlete garners from his/her scholarship. And fail to acknowledge the true freedom of choice. It isn't someone being forced into indentured servitude. It is complete, and unabridged, freedom of choice.

If the athletes thinks a job washing cars is a better deal, getting "paid" for the value of their high level of service, then do that. Of course, a kid out of high school has little value in the job market, right?

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you to a point Mike. There are a lot of perks to playing in college vs. other venues. However, this does NOT mean the system is fair. Jack is arguing against hope that it is. I grant you that some players like Wigs and Embiid come out appreciative. But even this is not evidence that the system is without flawed areas. Im sure even your own intuition tells you otherwise.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm saying it's fair because it is a contract agreed to by consenting parties.

The term in law is unconscionable. Parties are free to contract, but if the contract (generally) is unconscionable, a court can set it aside.

This is not unconscionable. No one argues that.

Mike Riches 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't think you and I disagree Joe about the system. Personally I would not have a problem with some sort of player compensation, though I understand and appreciate the sentiments of those who are opposed to such. The problem that those who advocate for this run into, is that players don't have a lot of leverage in college sports, at least not like in the pros. In college more people are fans of teams, than fans of players. (For example, I became a fan of Andrew Wiggins, but only after he announced he was coming to KU.) Perhaps this is inevitable considering the limited tenure of college athletes. The NCAA knows that whether Wiggins comes to KU or not, you and I are going to religiously tune in to every game, and wear our Rock Chalk t-shirts proudly. They also know that right now, the best chance for most players to improve their draft stock (and hence their future earnings) is to benefit from the national media exposure that the college game provides. It could be argued that Wiggins would have been drafted in the top three, even if he had played internationally or in the DL this past year, but there are many players like Embiid who dramatically improve their stock by playing in college. For them, it's a no-brainer to play in college (even with the current system) because it translates to millions of dollars. My point is simply, the NCAA would have to feel more threatened than it currently does (perhaps by the development of the DL for example), to accept player stipends, let alone to pay them.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

To piggy back, the NCAA hates the idea of paying players so increase their stipends. Also, why am I going to buy a Wiggins jersey when he is a one and done and I know it? I will cheer him on like crazy while he's here because that's all I can do while wondering who is coming to replace him the next season.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

Football keeps players a minimum of 3 years and no one complains. We are asking to better prepare young men for success. Lebron did not go to the NBA and play like an all star his first year because he was still growing into his game. Some of these guys go into the league unprepared because they aren't strong enough or their game needs to develop to be more prepared. Some of these athletes need the money so yes they should get more money in college. Everyone doesn't want to pay them well the easy fix is increase the stipend they receive. They don't have time to get jobs because the sport they play is the job so make that stipend affordable for the athlete.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Heck, I'm upset .. why should the high school district that I'm in profit off the high school players at $7 a head for events? I mean they're exploiting those kids. Shouldn't they get some of the money? Kids that play high school sports don't have time to work. No one would pay if those kids didn't play. Totally unfair. Some of these kids can't afford to go to concerts or eat out.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Everyone gets exploited in capitalism. But when college players make NO MONEY off of the BILLION they create in March alone (more than any other sport), this ain't your 7-dollar-a-head ticket at a high school football game. These posts are nonsense. They lack any reflection of the proportionality of the offense.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Even at McDonalds, employees get paid for their work. Because student-athletes are paid with INSTITUTIONAL money (in scholarships), any revenue they work to generate FOR THE NCAA in the March tournament is uncompensated.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

Jack would be the guy to die first in the Zombie Apocalypse...

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Again, Joe, you ignore the value of the education. It's no different than bustin' your a** making $30,000 per year to get promoted and make $60,000, and then make $120,000. You put in your time. Those of your position on this try real hard to ignore the reality. Just saw a stat where those with a college degree make something like 98% more than those that don't. Factor that over a lifetime. Try the open doors that athletes enjoy when applying for jobs. Look at what multiple athletes who didn't play pro ball have done with their careers solely because of their mere participation. Then also look at the salaries athletes gain from their exposure and development in college. Compensation or better yet .. benefits .. are not solely limited to cash in hand. Heck, maybe the NCAA/schools should agree to pay athletes now if they'll agree to pay a % of their income back to the NCAA/school when they make big bucks.

And on your institutional argument, you mean like the players in MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA generate for their leagues? Member institutions.

Actually, the best solution is for players to band together and demand more. Refuse to sign LOIs. Refuse to play in March. Then we will see if the guys that refuse to play are really that valuable. That's America.

Look, I know the high school deal is silly .. it was tongue in cheek. But Joe, you just argued above that your sweat shop argument, which is the basis of your entire argument, is valid because it is the same logic. You said above: "It is the principle in play that is being compared, in terms of whether or not those generating the revenue are fairly compensated ... If I can show the error of that logic in one instance, it destroys your point and I can use that to build a case on an issue that may perhaps be less obvious."

You just said my post is nonsense. Thus your sweatshop tripe is, thus, nonsense, correct?

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Again, Jack. I dont ignore the value of an education, but its absolutely clear that these athletes deserve more than even that. Simple and to the point.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Youre easily confused. It's very difficult for you to apprehend the constant principle among variable situations and thus we are at a philosophical impasse. My points have been made. The last word may be yours.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 7 months ago

The key word is fair. What is fair?

You have two athletes one football and one soccer. Football guy gets a full scholarship and soccer guy gets half. Both are stars on their team. Football guy maintains a 3.0 and helps bring the school millions. Soccer guy also holds a 3.0 but sport cost more then it makes. They introduce a stipend of 5k. Soccer player needs 5k per year to complete pay of tuition. Football player feels like he was slapped in the face, feels he should make more. Both have to follow the same NCAA rules, but get an equal stipend. Is it fair to the football player to make equal to the soccer guy? Is it fair that the soccer guy has to use all his stipend to pay for school? The conversation is much more complicated then we make it. Hundreds of athletes at each school will be impacted.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Excellent point. Brings up the question of whether or not revenue-generating sports should be treated the same as others. To your point, most women's sports at most universities do not generate revenue (exceptions...UConn, Tennesee, Baylor?). But it would be a hard sell to say women shouldnt get schollies or stipends. But in light of the fact that there would be no exact formula for compensating athletes in the revenue-generating sports, I have less of a problem extending the same benefits to other sports as well (as again, there is no science in a formula). What's true irrespective of the sport is that athletes all make a commitment to their schools in terms of time, effort, dedication, etc. But I get your point. It's hairy.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't quite go this far, but these arguments are plausible and have merit:

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