NCAA: Pay to Play or Bust
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), then known as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), was founded back in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt to regulate amateur collegiate sporting events after numerous injuries kept occurring in football games across the country.
As college athletics evolved and grew, problems with the NCAA started to arise. By the 1980’s, many collegiate sporting events were being televised, which was the NCAA’s largest source of income. Issues with the NCAA and money first came to the public attention in 1981 when the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, as the NCAA was receiving all of the money from the televised games.
The NCAA was deemed a monopoly, which is illegal under the Sherman Antitrust act. The NCAA appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court, where they lost the appeal to a vote of 7-2 in favor of the individual Universities.
One of the biggest controversies surrounding college athletics and the NCAA comes down to money. The athletes feel they deserve to be compensated for their hard work. Along with not paying the athletes, the NCAA does not even allow the individuals to make money off of their own likeness.
It’s time to question the future of the NCAA and the lack of a pay to play policy.
NCAA: Pay to Play or Bust
Late September 2019, California Governer Gavin Newsome signed a bill that permits college athletes in the state to get paid for their name, image, and likeness through endorsement deals, sponsorships, autograph signings, and other similar income opportunities.
NBA stars around the country, like LeBron James and Draymond Green, instantly took to social media to celebrate this huge accomplishment against the NCAA. Unfortunately, this bill doesn’t come into effect until January 1, 2023.
While it is a huge step forward, there is still a long way to go. The goal is that other states will also adapt their own ‘Pay to Play’ act in support of college athletes.
If more stats don’t adapt, or the NCAA doesn’t make a change where they voluntary pay the athletes, the future of the NCAA comes into question – especially for college basketball.
In the past, the traditional route to get to the NBA was to play in a good college basketball program, get noticed by scouts, and get drafted. Unless you were a high school standout, playing NCAA basketball was the only way to get yourself noticed and get drafted into the league.
Now there are other options.
International Basketball on the Rise
Every year, more and more players are being drafted from overseas leagues. The league currently has 108 international players, and the number will continue to rise.
A huge step forward for international basketball was when high school phenom RJ Hampton shocked the world and decided to pass on college and play overseas. He signed with the Australian National Basketball League’s (NBL) New Zealand Breakers. Also joining him in the NBL is a future top NBA draft pick, LaMelo Ball.
"I'm trying to be the No. 1 pick for the 2020 draft."
— ESPN (@espn) June 17, 2019
With scouts keeping a close eye on international basketball now, these two young players will have a chance to develop their game while focusing on basketball at all times, all while getting paid to play – both of which the NCAA can’t offer.
NCAA’s Poor Treatment of James Wiseman
Another thing bringing the NCAA down is the recent acts against James Wiseman, a basketball player for the University of Memphis.
Prior to Wiseman enrolling at the University of Memphis, and prior to Penny Hardaway accepting a role as Head Coach of the Memphis Tigers, Hardaway gave Wiseman’s family $11,500 to move into a better living situation in Memphis.
The NCAA was made aware of this and suspended Wiseman for 12 games and are forcing him to donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice. Wiseman appealed, but the NCAA upheld their decision.
With the NCAA losing more and more public support by the day, and international basketball on the rise, it’s time for the NCAA to start a pay to play policy to stay relevant.
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