The Commission On College Basketball Released Its Ideas To Fix The Game


So today was the release of the commission on college basketball’s report on how to fix the game. The 12-member commission made up of college administrators and former coaches and players was tasked with finding ways to reform five areas: NBA draft rules, including the league’s age limit that has led to so-called one-and-done players; the relationship between players and agents; non-scholastic basketball, such as AAU, meant to raise the profile of recruits; involvement of apparel companies with players, coaches and schools; and NCAA enforcement.

I’ll say this – it was barely above how bad I expected it to go. There were actually some decent ideas, but in general this was a waste of time and completely misguided. It was that way when this commission was set up and didn’t involve recent players – the only former players were Grant Hill and David Robinson – and coaches that aren’t recruiting today. Aren’t those the ones that can tell you what’s going on and provide some ideas instead of Mike Montgomery?

But, let’s get into what was released and then talked about in the press conference today. First, the commission wants to change an NBA rule. That’s right. The bold changes these people sat on months discussing revolved around ending the one and done rule – which, again, is an NBA rule. Within the call to end the one and done, the commission suggested quite possibly the two dumbest ideas I ever heard. They are calling for possibly freshmen ineligibility or locking of scholarships for 3 or 4 years. That’s right, the threat they are making to the NBA/NBPA is to have freshmen ineligible. It doesn’t get any dumber than that. Instead of focusing on fixing the game, they are focusing on the top 15 or so guys and want to punish every single freshman and team across the country. I can’t tell you how dumb this is. It should also be said that Adam Silver has talked about changing the one and done rule for quite some time now.

However, one good idea did come from the one and done conversation. That would be the call to let those who don’t get drafted come back to school. Listen, I’m not going to sit here and be a voice for coaches. I don’t care that they have to work a bit harder to figure out their rosters in June instead of April/May. I’m way more interested in the kids and their ability to choose and figure everything out here than I am the coaches – especially without any sort of compensation talk for the players. Let the kids go through the draft process, if they don’t get drafted they have the right to stay professional or come back to college. Who does that hurt besides coaches having to work harder? I love this idea.

The other good idea that the committee had within this one and done talk is the suggestion that players have the right to consult with agents from the get go. This is something that should have been in place a long time ago. Other sports – i.e. hockey, have the right to have an agent and consult with agents while still in college. Let these guys do the same. Let them work with agents through the AAU process as seniors and constantly talk to them.

Now, where the committee starts to get the wrong idea again goes to summer basketball, most notably AAU. The reason for this commission was to help fix the game after the FBI investigation which tied shoe companies and players and coaches all together. Instead of focusing on that and really the NCAA as a whole, the commission sort of wagged its finger at Nike, Adidas and Under Armour AAU ball. As someone pointed out, there are two sponsored events in Indianapolis this weekend as the summer circuit is underway. Is anyone going to head over there and talk to the people who run those events and teams? Or is this just a way to say a bunch of words and get people fired up one way or another? The committee is suggesting the NCAA runs its own event and the biggest question is who would show up for that? One thing to remember, these kids want to play in the EYBL, etc.


The other idea that I think is flat out smart is bringing in independent investigations instead of using the NCAA board. This was almost a direct shot at the UNC case which was mishandled from the absolute get go by the NCAA and a large part as to why UNC wasn’t punished. But, the fact that this hasn’t been outsourced yet is a little ridiculous, so this is good to see.

All in all, this was somewhat of a waste of time, especially for how long it took to get here. It also didn’t address the biggest issue – the NCAA amateurism model. You can change all these things that they talk about, but the fact is there will still be elite talent going to college basketball, where there is a winner and a loser. As long as that is still there within the current amateurism model there will be a ‘black market’ or ‘cheating’ by everyone involved. Ultimately, that’s what needs to be addressed at some point by everyone involved with the NCAA, because this is more than a basketball thing. This is a football thing. This is a sports thing.