Monday, March 24, 2014

The NCAA Is Not Corrupt - The NBA Is Cheap

That should be the starting point for every discussion of reforming grassroots basketball.

I think we can all agree that college basketball is a very inefficient system of preparing players for the NBA. In an ideal world, NBA teams would operate their own minor-league franchises, like they do in baseball and hockey. That's the real issue - why aren't they already doing that? Shouldn't every team have a junior team with a bunch of under-23 prospects, like they do in Europe?

There's no one stopping the NBA from having a 5-round draft of the Top 150 high school players every year, with each team giving a draft pick a six-figure salary. It's not a matter of cost - the NBA has billion dollar TV deals - the money is there for them to maintain a $5-10 million farm team.

So why don't they just set up a more efficient farm system? They are really, really cheap. Either cheap or their ownership group is under-capitalized.

I'm not going to sit here and listen to an NBA team crying about money when most of their franchises could go for nearly a billion dollars on the open market. If you can't afford to run the investment, just get a buy-out - you have made more than enough money off professional basketball!

That's where any discussion about reforming college basketball has to start. It has to start NBA opening their wallets. They are just pawning off the player development and marketing tasks on the colleges - and then they have the audacity to complain after the fact that players aren't trained correctly!

I don't think you will find a college basketball fan who will tell you the sport isn't incredibly corrupt. Here's the thing, though - that's the result of them being asked to do a job they were never capable of doing. You can't expect the colleges to be something they are not - that's only a way to avoid pointing the figure at the people really responsible for what's going on. And that's the owners.

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