Advertisement

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Keegan

Column: Cliff Alexander proof system flawed

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) celebrates after a dunk against UNLV during the second half on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) celebrates after a dunk against UNLV during the second half on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Advertisement

I feel sorry for Cliff Alexander.

Not because he said that Lawrence is the birthplace of basketball on one of those silly videos that one-and-done players make to announce the inevitable. It’s Springfield, Massachusetts, of course, but since James Naismith is buried in Lawrence, some twist that to mean basketball was born here, too.

I feel sorry for Alexander because I think if the system were as it should be and the NCAA allowed a player to hire an agent, declare for the draft, and return to school if he doesn’t like the draft outcome, Alexander could have a bright basketball and financial future.

As it stands, things look a little murky. Only first-round draft choices receive guaranteed contracts. All it takes is one general manager to select Alexander in the first round, and the freshman from Chicago has a nice nest egg, plus a team that has so much invested in him that they’ll do everything they can to develop him.

But why would a GM invest that much in a 6-foot-8 power forward who has yet to demonstrate basketball skill and a feel for the game? He’s explosive, has a frame that suggests he could pack on muscle, and his long arms give him the potential to play taller than 6-8.

Still, his ceiling probably equates to journeyman power forward, a la Thomas Robinson.

Had Alexander not been punished for the reported actions of his mother — what other segment of society makes a teenager pay for a parent’s misdeed? — and had he decided to stay at Kansas for three years, as did Robinson, it’s not a stretch to think Alexander could have developed into a lottery pick by playing for a winner deep into the tournament.

Now?

We won’t know until draft day, but lasting into the second round seems more likely than not. Goodbye sellout crowds and daily practices. Hello, NBA Developmental League, where big men have trouble developing because the guards decide who shoots, and usually that means the guards shoot.

Europe? Of all the players on KU’s team this past season, he seemed the youngest socially. Not everyone is ready to make the adjustment to living and working in Europe.

Kansas could have made good use of Alexander for another two years by developing him, but not to the extent he could have benefited from staying.

First-round lock Kelly Oubre had too much to risk by staying. Alexander, in danger of having a career akin to that of Josh Selby, had too much to risk by leaving, if, that is, his mother running afoul of the NCAA even left that as an option.

Comments

Joe Joseph 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm guessing mom, and the potential screw job coming from the NCAA, more than heavily influenced his decision. I can't imagine Bill Self, or anyone associated with the NBA, advising Cliff to leave based on current draftability.

The NCAA is a joke.

John Brown 2 years, 5 months ago

The system is not flawed, expectations are flawed. The college game doesn't need revolve around the aspirations of 20 one-and-done players. The game will eventually rot if it loses sight of the kids who play for the love of the game and because they've always wanted to play for the University of ..... How many one and done NBA wash outs will it take to realize there is more damage than benefit. Oubre's comments are equal to all others vaulting from Kansas to the NBA, "I've always wanted to be in the NBA" "I've always been focused on the NBA". Oh by the way, Kansas was a good experience..... And what is the argument about if they overestimate their value in the NBA and drop to the second round.... In other words, it did turn out as expected? Well, it's a life lesson in hubris. There are no guarantees in life. Now you'll have to pay for your education through student loans and hard work like the rest of us.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, the system is flawed. This is not even arguable.

Part of the problem is that you have some guys that are recruited as OAD who are really, really good, but they're not OADs. Kids who have worn that label range from Kevin Durant down to Josh Selby, but no one would make the mistake of equating their impact on the college game, or their prospects for success at the next level. In the example given (using the extremes to help contrast and clarify the point) clearly Selby was more suspect in both these regards. In actuality however, the spectrum of talent exists among all OADs whether people see it or not.

The situation screams for an age-limit mandate that sees college kids having to spend two years in college (or in the D-league or overseas, if they prefer). Players who are truly OAD-level talent will not have their development hindered by an extra year, whereas players who are recruited as OAD but actually would be better served by two years would have the opportunity to develop more fully before coming out. An earlier than advisable exit, as Tom points out, can damage a kid's career irreparably; and yet we are trusting 19-year-old kids to execute this decision properly while they are blinded by dollar signs being waved in front of them.

A TAD system is good for the kid. It's also good for college basketball. Gone are the days of kids trying on colleges like glass slippers to be worn for a year. The pressure on a coaching staff to recruit is eased. Talent is spread around more evenly. If a kid completes two years of school, he is even more likely to finish his degree having already done half the work. This would give a little bit more legitimacy to the term "student athlete" in referring to these kids, and colleges and universities everywhere could feel better about the academic instruction that students would leave with.

We've seen the debates over OADs come to a rolling boil in recent articles. Judging by the major points raised in the comments, both sides would feel better about how a TAD system would impact the game. Why? Because very few proponents of recruiting OADs--like myself--would argue that the principles of the current age limit mandate (ie, OAD) would be transgressed if the mandate were extended to two years; while opponents of the OAD system would feel more comfortable about the developing skill of the players and the ability of a team to actually build a winner with guys who would stay around for a longer period of time.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

(cont.) But the key to making a TAD system work is that you have to pay the players. They generate enough profit to be entitled to some of it, and a lot of these kids come from situations where the financial need is great. Deferring pay until they get to the NBA and actually levying a mandate that they remain out of it for a period of time creates too many instances of individual hardship in the face of their great earning potential and strikes me as a bit immoral. The fat cats of the NCAA need to open the purse strings as they work hard to delineate a compensation package that is fair to both the student and the institutions. The Cliff Alexander situation could have been completely avoided had he received an athletic stipend that he could do with however he saw fit, including giving some to his destitute mother (said earnestly).

The truth of it is this: why shouldn't Cliff Alexander's family be afforded the opportunity to engage in the risk of taking a loan out using his future earning potential as collateral? "It's my money and I want it NOW" is true for average citizens so says the commercial, but evidently college basketball players should hold themselves honorably from this same feeling. Why? While I recognize right away that what his mother allegedly did was an NCAA violation that they were stupid enough to participate in given what they must surely have known was an improper benefit, in truth I have to question the grounds of why this should be a violation in the first place. Pay these kids! And especially if you want a mandate that will keep them from a job for two years instead of one.

Benz Junque 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if some of these kids are already taking out student loans to pay their tuition and using their tuition checks they receive as part of their scholarship for their own personal use. Amazing that Cliff and his family are so desperate for money that they have to screw his future yet he has enough pocket money to sport thousands of dollars of tattoos. Bothers me almost as much as people on welfare using their money on cigarettes while their kids go hungry.

Suzi Marshall 2 years, 5 months ago

I feel sorry for Bill Self and the Kansas team that placed so much trust and hope in him. The apparent lack of full cooperation with the NCAA investigation raises significant doubt, in my mine at least, the actions of his mom were not as rogue as they'd like us to believe.

We can debate all day long if the NCAA rules but in this case, it seems exceedingly clear they knowingly broke the rules. Before taking monetary benefits, Kansas and the NCAA, goes out of their way to provide counseling. At the time of the August UCC filing, Alexander was projected as the second pick on the Draft Express board (www.draftexpress.com/profile/Cliff-Al...). When the season commenced, Alexander showed few of the skills supported that lofty projection, so his status dropped...and dropped. In his games, up to his last game, he never looked like he knew how to play the game and was very slow to react. He rarely seemed to give much effort and barely jumped much above the rim for lobs. Traylor started throwing those lob passes to him below the rim. Mason, who rarely shows emotions, sent a few stares Alexanders way when alley-opp passes to an open Alexander were left untouched at rim level to sail OB.

My overwhelming impression of Alexander is he came to Kansas expecting that he was a lock as a high OAD draft choice and did not put in the necessary work to develop in his first few month. However, I believe it when Self said that since his suspension he had been practicing the best ever and might have been able to make significant contributions and rebound his stock in the post season.

Alexander will get a chance in the pre-draft workouts. On occasion, like with the dunk vs OSU, he showed remarkable athleticism. If we commits to working hard and putting out every ounce of his energy, he may pull things back.

Glen Miller 2 years, 5 months ago

I love how you always comment like you work for Kansas basketball. You have a strong opinion on things and that's cool, but to act like you know what is really going on behind the scenes is a bit silly. There are all kinds of reports flying around out there, but nothing definitive has been announced by anyone with direct knowledge of the this situation. For all you know, the NCAA is pulling their normal BS and just taking too long. Or maybe, KU has something to lose and having the conversations with the NCAA could damage the school and not only Alexander. Maybe, Alexander and his family have talked with the NCAA and the NCAA didn't get enough out of that conversation and are still investigating. Without permission, some of the documents they probably want are hard to obtain and I don't have a problem with a kid who is being railroaded, standing up for his rights and not letting people dig all over his life where they don't belong. Part of my issue with all of this is invasion of privacy. All told, I'm sure that the people who get paid the big bucks to deal with this know how to handle the situation a bit better than you do. Until we actually know the truth (which we may never), I think our blame game and the accusations you are placing on Cliff himself are a bit unfair. He's a kid, a person, just like you and I. Chastising him all over this page when you don't know what you are talking about (none of us really do) seems a bit foolish to me.... and that's just MY opinion.

We are always quick to place these players on a pedestal when they come and even quicker to beat them down if they under perform or are accused of something. I'm sure that there have been times in your life where you were punished for others actions. I'm sure that you wouldn't appreciate a bunch of armchair quarterbacks speculating on whether or not you were an honest person or not, based off of reports that don't even line up. Take it easy on this kid, he is not doing anything to you personally and you don't even know the story.

Cliff, I appreciate you and your hard work with our school and our team. I wish for nothing but the best in your pursuit of your dream to play in the NBA. Although it was a brief time here, you will always be a Jayhawk and I'll be following your career with the same fervor that I followed it while you were here. Rock Chalk!!

Jocelyn Uzzell 2 years, 5 months ago

I wholeheartedly agree with your post Glen! I'm so sick of these who act like they have the inside track on these players and KU bball...please just stop. Not one of knows what the facts are in Cliff's situation. Therefore, I think it's just foolish and unfair to blame him for this situation. There is a very real possibility that the mother and family acted without Cliff's knowledge...we may never and will probably never know.

I want to wish wish Cliff all the best of luck in the draft and just in general! Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk...

Jack Hoover 2 years, 5 months ago

Really? What is this man-love for Cliff? Really? Add a N to your first name and stick to music. I don't have to step into a pile of dog-&**T to tell you it stinks but obviously you do. Unreal! IB

Justin Channel 2 years, 5 months ago

The fact is self doesn't know how to handle the oad kids!

Andy Hess 2 years, 5 months ago

He did well with Xavier, Joel, and Wiggins, and Oubre wasn't a complete disaster either. If you're measuring "knowing how to handle" by winning a national championship, there are a bunch of coaches who don't know how to handle OADs.

Benz Junque 2 years, 5 months ago

He knows how to handle them just fine. He juts got hurt the last two years by adding those OAD players to rosters full of freshmen and sophs.

Robert Brown 2 years, 5 months ago

There are two issues here that have to be separated. First, are NCAA rules and processes that have put Alexander and KU in limbo. You can make credible arguments that the rules are flawed.

The second is the actions taken by Alexander's mother. She had to know what she did was wrong and she did it anyway. Don't blame her actions on the NCAA.

The victim probably is Alexander. The comparison to Thomas Robinson is good one. I am sure the Alexander will be able to get a paycheck playing professional basketball, but it may be a diminished paycheck had he been able to stay in college at least a year more.

I have seen some of that NBA D-league games on TV and think it has to be depressing to play in a small gym that is half full in a remote location after playing 15 games in Allen Field House and almost all games on national TV.

Steve Corder 2 years, 5 months ago

We are witnessing the "Perfect Storm". The convergence of "Higher Education" (designed exactly as the name clearly states) with huge financial institutions (TV & professional sports) and teenagers with guardians and/or parents managing, mostly, unreal expectations of their kid's value and ability.

There must be compromise when these factors converge.

Robert Brock 2 years, 5 months ago

A'ight. So we're saying, "If you can't obey the rules...just change the rules (after we get caught violating them)."

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes!

But implicit in the arguments for changing the rules is the presumption that the rules are unfair to begin with. Not all of them. But not being able to borrow against your own future earning potential is too intrusive. It's not like they took money from boosters/alums or they didn't have the intention of paying back everything that was borrowed. And in the specific case of the Alexanders, the amount borrowed could not be used extravagantly on very many items. I have the feeling the loan was taken to overcome a financial hardship.

This kind of thing should not be against NCAA regulations. It's time to change that kind of rule.

Your comment above seems to be right on target to me.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 5 months ago

Nothing changes so long as the NBA, CBS and ESPN make money. It will take a president or a lawsuit by some abused college player to counteract the profit motive that turns a blind eye to the downside. Maybe Cliff should have gotten himself a good lawyer rather than an agent. Why should the NCAA declare him ineligible because of his mom's actions? Doesn't he have at least some protectable interest in his athletic scholarship?

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

I made that argument until someone pointed out that the NCAA did not declare him ineligible. Kansas benched him because if there was an investigation that ever concluded improper benefits were received, Kansas would have to forfeit all wins and awards the basketball team had won if he had continued to play.

Rodney Crain 2 years, 5 months ago

William he never was declared ineligible by the NCAA. KU held him out as a precaution due to the investigation. Cliff had very good lawyers representing him during this. Neither the NCAA nor KU made any negative comments about him. KU never pulled the scholarship. His was able to do everything but play with the team, lift, practice and at home games sit with them. His housing and college education were not effected either.

I agree it might take a legal case to generate a change but this would be the wrong case to do it. There was no provable harm to Cliff and once a lawsuit was filed the documents that are in question likely become available to the NCAA to defend themselves with. I just do not see it.

Larry Jackson 2 years, 5 months ago

The Alexanders did hire an attorney. As a matter of fact the attorney used to be a NCAA official. It's my understanding the atty. advised the Alexanders not to cooperate with the NCAA investigation.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 5 months ago

I get all the technicalities here. But this puts Cliff and others like him in a no-win situation. Maybe he should have demanded to keep his scholarship and KU can never play him out of fear of the NCAA. He can't force the NCAA to declare him eligible because he would have to turn over documents to the NCAA. Everyone is being legal, but very Kafkaesque. There was a QB at Illinois in 1982, David Wilson, that filed for injunctions each week against the NCAA so that he could play. I wonder if the NCAA learned something from that event.

Rodney Crain 2 years, 5 months ago

Nothing happens to Cliff until his mother takes out a loan and the filing is made public as is the procedure with a loan of this type.

His mother started this, if he has an issue or recourse with what hapened it would start with her.

Since the NCAA did nothing but alert KU, and KU did nothing but hold the player out of games played it would be difficult to force an injunction. The NCAA and KU tried to get it settled as quickly as possible too, but were not able to either. Since there was no suspension to lift and a court cannot force any program to play a player in a sporting event. That subjective choice is left up to the teams coaches, maybe the AD, there is nothing a court can do here.

This is why this is not a good case to try to change the NCAA or the Schools choices. Everyone involved acted with caution and no rush to judgement was made, no premature ruling was made.

I feel for Cliff but his issue is with his mother, the other parties acted out of caution.

The NCAA, who I dislike as much as anyone, acted properly here. So did the school. Under the rules and limitations of the NCAA to subpoena this is a rational approach and quite fair.

I do not see this as Kafkaesque since the ability to fix this was in his mothers hands. To me this means it is not a singular exile but one that his own family created and had the opportunity to address. It might have resulted with him losing his elgibilty.

Pete Hatcher 2 years, 5 months ago

Lots of good discussion and debate IRT OAD's and the basketball team over the past couple of weeks. As fans there is little to be gained from complaining about another 2nd round loss or how the NCAA is broken. Instead how bout we shift focus and throw our support behind our football team. Sure they've been down for awhile but there is no reason why a true KU fan cannot put forth this much effort behind the new coaching staff and supporting their team. Spring game is April 25, admission is free, pls get out and support your Jayhawks.

Jay Beakum 2 years, 5 months ago

Keegan you should ask Danny Manning how he feels about a kid being able to declare and return if the results aren't as hoped. It would make incredibly hard on the coaches in recruiting.

"Well, we have a spot for you... maybe."

Mark Lindrud 2 years, 5 months ago

Make it like baseball. They can go get drafted out of high school, but they have to play at the D-League for 2 years before they can declare for the NBA. This will develop the D-League, and actually have a credible minor league type system.

On the other hand, if they stay they must stay a minimum of 2 years in college where they can develop their game, and talk of the NBA Draft won't even be a consideration their first year while playing in the NCAA.

Benz Junque 2 years, 5 months ago

They'd make more money in per diem and cost of tuition checks in college than they would in the D-League.

Mark Lindrud 2 years, 5 months ago

This is why the D -League would need to be upgraded, which means they get a certain base salary. It needs to be developed anyway, and sending prospects there, with the provisions to make a decent living until they go to the NBA. This would give them the opportunity to do endorsements, but not the million plus salary until they get to the NBA. Essentially, less limelight, and a chance to grow their game, and mature somewhat so they can better handle the NBA, which is similar the minor leagues in baseball.

Benz Junque 2 years, 5 months ago

That's all well and good but you're basically telling a corporation that they are required to raise their expenses and lose more money. Good luck convincing them that this is the way to fix this. And no company is going to pay a D-League player for endorsements. Get real. How many minor league players are doing endorsements?

Mark Lindrud 2 years, 5 months ago

If you knew your first round lottery pick out of high school was going to be a stud in two years and you only had to pay him a little over 2000 a month for 2 years would you do it if you were an owner? Instead of paying him over a million? Minor league players don't make a ton of money, and if the NBA did a similar pay scale they would not have to raise much in expenses, not to mention that lottery pick would be improved in two years and much more mature. Baseball does it and they have A, AA, and AAA minor league systems. As far as endorsements, this is a capitalist society. Anything is possible, which was my point in the first place.

Chuck Stones 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm wondering why more kids don't follow the BRush route and NOT hire an agent. Do the agents do that much pre-draft for the kids?

Also, the REAL villain here is the company who loaned the money to Cliff's mom. They knew they were violating NCAA rules that could result in this. Yet they get away free as a bird. I've been wondering if there may not be some sort of legal action against the firm. It's not criminal, but civil. The trick is finding the injured party, maybe the University. But something should be done to this firm.

Clara Westphal 2 years, 5 months ago

It might be that it is the parents, not the player, who is seeing the money waving in front of their kids. Xavier Henry cried throughout his exit comments. It was pretty obvious he didn't want to leave. He kept saying how much he loved his teammates, coaches and KU. It was sad to watch.

Even if the Alexanders did need the money, they probably could have waited another eight months. I, too, feel sorry for Cliff. He deserved a better chance than he got.

Harlan Hobbs 2 years, 5 months ago

Glen, I don't think that anyone is trying to say they have the definitive answer as to what is involved in the Alexander case. People speculate, and there is nothing wrong with that. In the end, Joe and Suzi have outlined the issues quite well.

My only comment is that it all just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth with so much OAD activity. In some ways, it's like free agency in the pros where there is little or no allegiance to the team for whom you are playing. I realize that these are just free market principles at work, and I certainly support free markets. Nevertheless, the college game just doesn't hold the glamour for me that it once did.

As for Bill Self, he is a phenomenal coach and person, notwithstanding what some morons think. I have been criticized for supporting him unconditionally just because he has won 11 consecutive Big 12 championships, as if that is all I care about. Nothing is further from the truth.

I am just as disappointed as anyone when KU doesn't seem to meet our expectations every year. However, Coach Self and his staff have totally earned our loyalty and support. Anyone who believes otherwise is simply not a "true blue" KU fan, which I have been for over 60 years.

Doug Cramer 2 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately Alexander...or his a member of his family...(we don't know the whole story)...made some bad choices.

When you lose integrity and make bad choices, there are consequences. While I will agree that this whole OAD thing might be flawed...this is not a good example of it.

Ultimately there needs to be a free market with basketball. If a kid thinks he's good enough to go to the NBA after high school, he should be able to make that decision. The NBA should not be manipulating college basketball and it's potential pro players.

Now if that player makes the decision to go after high school and fails, then he has to live with the consequences of not developing his skill set at the college level.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

If you could see the situation retrospectively (because we know, in fact, that many kids actually DO fail who come to the NBA early), wouldn't it have been better for the kid to go to college first so he can at least get started on earning a degree? If he fails, this is one hell of a consolation prize. Free education, that is.

Benz Junque 2 years, 5 months ago

There is a free market with basketball. Cliff was more than welcome to go play for any other professional basketball organization not name the NBA. He could go to the D-League right from high school. There are dozens of professional and semi-professional leagues all over the world.

It's absurd that people think that the NBA should be required to just open their doors and let in whoever wants to go there. Should I be allowed to take classes at Harvard just because I think I am smart enough to do so?

The NBA isn't manipulating anything. They collectively bargained the age limit with the Players Union, which considers college's potential pro players as their future union members and thus takes them into account in their negotiations. Hats off to the NBA for behaving like a proper group of US businesses should and doing what is best for their business.

I hope that they bump the age limit up one additional year to two years to give the NBA teams and even better evaluation period. One more year to get these kids away from the terrible high school ranking services. One more year of proving they can play against comparable competition. One more year of developing their bodies and their game. One more year of proving they can take instruction from competent coaching staffs.

If the NCAA wants to kick a little extra money to coll football and basketball players to help eliminate some of the issues they are seeing before and during these kids stays at an ncaa school, fine by me. I am sure they have enough money and accountants to figure out a system to do this.

Tyson Ailshie 2 years, 5 months ago

If we could bag Diallo, Brown and Zimmerman in the off season, this will be a distant memory. Imagine this starting line up (based on Perry leaving): Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden, Jaylen Brown, Cheick Diallo, Stephen Zimmerman. Then off the bench: Devonte Graham, Svi, Brannen, Bragg, Traylor, Lucas/Mickelson. That's a Big 12 and national championship team!

Well? A guy can dream can't he??

William Weissbeck 2 years, 5 months ago

Back in the Owens era, his top recruiter went east to bring us Sam Bowie. We got Victor Mitchell.

Len Shaffer 2 years, 5 months ago

William, are you saying you don't have fond memories of Chocolate Blunder?

Seriously, Mitchell wasn't that bad, although he was out of his mind to declare early for the draft.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 5 months ago

I do. We beat Dean and UNC in KC that Christmas.

Bryan Mohr 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't think there should be any requirement for an official NBA declaration by college athletes. The NBA should recruit (draft) employees similar to other corporations. What prevents Microsoft from offering a job to a brilliant Freshman? Nothing. The kid could accept the offer or not. Usually companies prefer the student to get full training - a degree - at the student's or university's expense. What needs to happen is the NBA team be allowed to draft and make a contract with a university player stating that when the player decides to leave college they must play for that team. So, an NBA team could draft Oubre, sign a contract with him, but Oubre could remain playing for KU until he leaves early or uses up all 4-years eligibility. If an NBA team really thinks a guy like Oubre is an investment, then they would be willing to spend their draft pick despite the chance Oubre stays at KU another 1 to 3 years - or gets seriously injured. The contract could - in effect - be paying Oubre while he is still at KU, but that money would not be vested until Oubre leaves KU. This would make the NCAA the Developmental League for the NBA. Both the NCAA and the NBA would gain from this arrangement - in my opinion. There would need to be a restriction that required the NBA to still pay a guy if he had a career ending injury while still in college. Otherwise, all college guys would leave immediately from fear of injury. This arrangement would probably cut back on NBA teams drafting college freshman, but would still allow them to lock-in the Kobe's and LeBron's of the world.

Joseph Bullock 2 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree with Glen, about Suzi! Obviously you have not been listening to what Coach Self has been saying, all along, that Cliff and K.U. both wanted the NCAA to interview him, and in fact, welcomed it! You keep blaming Cliff, for what was not his fault. His mom did this, and we don't really know if she fully understood what she was doing, but she definitely should have check with K.U. first. Not doing so, was very unintelligent! I remember you always saying great things about Connor, and how upset you were that he was leaving, but you neglected to say how selfish he was for not wanting to 'Earn his minutes', and I sure don't remember you ever criticizing his dad, who was so arrogant to think CF was "Entitled' to playing time! But Cliff parents, in your opinion are such terrible people, right. His dad didn't even have anything to do with it, but you are still 'stuck on stupid' in continuing to blame, both parents. Get a clue!

Suzi Marshall 2 years, 5 months ago

Very shortly after Frankamp left, I asked around what was going on. Shortly after "hearing enough" I commented on this site a couple of time we were all better off with the transfer.

Will Bohne 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm really sorry this happened to Cliff, but I seriously doubt he had no knowledge of what his mother had done. Even at the shadiest of payday loan shops, I can't offer up something I don't own as collateral. No business out there would make a loan without some guarantee from Cliff. The rules are bad, and force players to make tough choices. But for the moment they are the rules.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 5 months ago

Until the NBA commisioner, NBA owners, and the NCAA get together to work out issues like this, situations like this will continue go on with no appropriate resolution. Shady agents are one of the biggest issues and they face no consequences while innocent parties are the ones suffering the consequences. If an agent found guilty of committing an NCAA rule faced either losing their license to be an NBA agent or not getting approved for a license if they are trying to get one, it would cut down on a lot if the shadiness in that area.

Not everything is fixed with this, but if the NBA and NCAA ever work together, they can actually fix a lot of issues.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

Agree. There needs to be more communication between the NBA and the NCAA. Interestingly, not even one year ago the NBA (Adam Silver and league owners) met with Emmert to discuss the very issue of the age limit, but there has been little fruit that was borne of that meeting. They need to lock themselves in a room and have no one emerge until a consensus is reached on how to get a new age mandate done. http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10803355/adam-silver-says-pushing-back-nba-age-limit-top-priority

Rodney Crain 2 years, 5 months ago

You forgot the key NBA group Aaron, the NBAPA. Until they are on board all this is just idle conversation and they are going to want something big from Silver and the owners to make this concession. This is a CBA issue and they have to approve it.

They have the position of leverage now with the league.

Randy Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

What's good for the players is that they go to university to get an education and develop a social net that will catch them if/when they fall out of the NBA/Pro BB orbit. What's good for college ball is to help players develop a skill set that may translate into a basketball career, but more importantly, to provide the learning and nurture the maturity that will help them no matter what. What's good for the NBA is to find the exceptional HS players and develop them in their minor leagues, and/or let them go to college and mature in an atmosphere that develops the whole person. But how do we get from here to there? Use the NFL/college model as a starting point. I don't feel sorry for Cliff Alexander for any material reasons. He'll get all the money he and his family need up front... just not all the money they want, evidently. No I don't blame them, I feel bad that they believe that money will secure their future. It won't. Love of money is the root of all that is wrong with us, and that includes higher education and the NCAA. Paying players will only make it worse.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

Dang! I was loving everything you said. Then that last sentence got me. Ouch!

I agree with most of what you say in principle. Incentivizing players to stay in college with athletic stipends is one good reason to pay them. Another is moral inequity of getting rich off of players who are experiencing financial hardship. Reasonable minds can disagree.

Randy Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm fine with athletic scholarships, Joe. I'm fine with any financial support that allows people to benefit from higher education. But trying to compete with professional paychecks? That degrades the value of the education experience, imho. And it fosters a "better 'n you" attitude which has been a "moral inequity" for a long time. I think that reasonable minds can agree that moral inequities are a part of life. I just don't see money as a solution, but I appreciate your comments.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

Would that all people were as honorable as you during disagreements. Ive lobbied here to change the culture of those participating in the comments. After all, it has become sort of a community.

Anyhow, I agree with you on at least one point. There should be no competition with professional paychecks. No university should attempt to pay that much. But consider these kids cant go out and work while in college like other kids can, and they certainly do more for their universities than regular students. Not only in terms of generating financial profit, but also in terms of increasing the popularity of a school such that it gets considered by real scholars. Thats the first inequity. The second is that others are getting rich off of these kids while they remain impoverished in many cases.

No. The amount they should be given should be somewhere on the order of 7-10k per year above expenses. The other objection you often hear is whether or not, for example, someone on the rowing team should receive that amount of money. Personally I think all athletes involved in revenue-generating sports should receive a full stipend. Those involved in sports that do not generate revenue should be given a quarter stipend. That's fair.

Michael Lorraine 2 years, 5 months ago

Where is it carved in stone that college sports can only be played by amateurs. Either remove sports from college and the hypocrisy of amateur athletics in its current state or pay the athletes.

Randy Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

Yeah Michael. Let's get rid of all of the hypocrisy and hypocrites in higher education. (... sound of crickets). Honestly, the purpose of education is itself, and sports has always been a part of that dynamic. Maybe we should just get rid of all athletic scholarships. There'd be no OAD or TAD controversies.... Uh oh. Somebody from Hypocrisy U. is trying to break down my door. You are right about the lack of stone carving though.... ;-)

Justin Channel 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't about you guys on this blog but I grew up poor! And I never went to college I have had to earn everything thru hardwork and sometimes I still can't pay the bills. But I can tell you this if I was 18 years old and I could help my mom by borrowing money no matter the way it went down I wouldn't hesitate for one second to do that. Sorry if the rich alumni gets there feelings hurt but in the real world that's how it goes sometimes. We either need to pay these kids for what they do for ku or let them go to the nba straight out of high school! Period!

Janet Olin 2 years, 5 months ago

Cliff, I'm sorry things haven't worked out for you as you (and we) hoped for. I feel bad that you are not at fault in this mess. Jayhawk fans wish you all the best for success and will cheer for you no matter what. Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk.

Lance Hobson 2 years, 5 months ago

As a guy who lived in Chicago, sadly I have to admit that players from there are flawed. This is the city of Benji Wilson and Derek Rose, where people are proud of a guy who had someone else take his SAT. There is a wealth of talent there but the well is poisoned.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.