This is my third attempt here, as I'm trying to avoid this becoming a rant. Please bear with. Somewhere in my rambled thoughts are dots that need connecting.
- The NBA needs (desperately) a farm system that can help players mature and develop their overall game. Coaches, too.
- Players need a better support system (read: a reason and motivation) to help them move more gradually from high school to the pro level. The steeper that climb, the harder the fall for those who don't make the cut and the less incentive for players to refine their craft while working their way up.
- That financial gap between unknown amatuer and instant millionaire celebrity is so wide that we're not doing right by these kids. Basically, we're raising young men to gamble their future on the "pro-sports" lottery.
- Minor leagues will compete with colleges for select players, attention and $. It may not spell a death knell for the college game, but they are by nature competing products. For name players, coaches, media, etc.
- Football is relatively immune to this for now because of the scale required by the sport: Lots of people, equipment, $ demand a lot of work to make a return. The same cannot be said of basketball. Because of this there is, IMO, little incentive for the NBA to preserve the college game. College and pro football compliment each other, rarely competing for air time, whereas college and pro basketball are often competing on many levels, with many people (myself included) loving one and hating the other. I couldn't tell you the standings in the NBA right now, and grow frustrated when Sportcenter begins with something other than NCAA tournament news. Not what David Stern wants to hear during the chase for NBA playoff spots.
- Colleges cannot simply begin paying athletes: There's too many to make it work and the equity issues over who gets what would be overwhelming. (I think)
- I've mentioned this before and I keep coming back to it, for better or for worse. Two things come to mind as steps in the right direction:
1) Some type of direct support from professional sports leagues to NCAA programs. Other industries sponsor research and internships, why can't pro sports? If the NBA were to provide funds directly for basketball players, there might be enough money to provide payments without incurring the equity issue of needing to pay the lacrosse and volleyball team, too. Maybe athletic departments evolve into/include acadamies wherein student athletes take on more of an internship status. Such could then be applied for any pro sport wishing to sponsor these players at the college level.
2) Professional athletics should be a bonafide major. Sports marketing is in some schools, as well as sports heatlh, journalism and communications. Why not pro sports in general? In lieu of an age limimt I'd love to see pro sports require at least a certificate in... pro sports! Something that teaches the basics of money management, health, dealing with agents, etc. Seems to me there's enough basic stuff that every athlete should know, and that most schools do/should teach to concoct a certified degree of some kind.
I'll stop now. Thanks for the vent.
I agree I think they should have a degree in sports mangement that way the players can understand whats ahead in life. Especially in investments.
There is alot of cities that need a pro basketball team pittsburgh and san diego come to mind if there are more feel free to post cities that could have a team.
3rd as for paying college aths. no way this will dilute the sport and make the big 6 a cartel and push most leagues back down to D2. But in saying this at least let these kids get a job outside of campus. But there will be some alumni and boosters that will pay these players more for less service. In saying that the universities will have to weed out those boosters.