When Condeoleezza Rice and the commission she headed addressed what they thought needed to be fixed in college basketball last month it was met with a general wanting of more. They pleaded with the NBA to change the one and done rule – for whatever reason they thought that was the problem. They unfortunately tried to come up with an ultimatum for the NBA to change that rule by saying they’d suggest freshmen be ineligible to play or scholarships be locked for 3 years. Both are asinine ideas. That’s not to say there were positives from the commission though – like the ability to return to college if undrafted and bringing in outside people for investigations – i.e. the UNC academic scandal rule.
However, the problem was the commission was put together to help fix this ‘black market’ idea of people getting paid by shoe companies, etc. Well, David Robinson spoke at the Knight Commission yesterday and said the following:
“Certainly kids should be able to benefit from their name, image and likeness.”
Wait, what? Where the hell was this during the Rice Commission? Why wasn’t this addressed as this is the biggest talked about thing when it comes to amateurism. Oh, wait. I know why. Because the Rice Commission was handpicked by Mark Emmert and they didn’t want to disrupt the moneymaking machine that is the NCAA. That’s why the Rice Commission pointed its finger at shoe companies. That’s why the Rice Commission pointed its finger at the NBA. That’s why the Rice Commission pointed its finger at AAU and grassroots hoops. That’s why the Rice Commission didn’t put any blame on the NCAA and its institutions. That’s why the Rice Commission was laughed at from the get go and ultimately considered a bullshit waste of time. That’s why the Rice Commission will likely go down as a failure.
Now, Robinson attributes that the Commission didn’t want to address benefiting of likeness and image because pending litigation. Sure, I get that. Expect the pending litigation is against 9 people, 4 of which are assistant coaches. None of which are players. Oh, there are people with pending litigation that are in the shoe company world. Why was it okay for the Rice Commission to address that but not benefiting of image? Because it would cost the NCAA money of course.
Ultimately that’s what needs to be addressed. You can form all the commissions, committees and bring in whomever you want. But, until you address the ability to benefit from image and likeness the fundamental issue of amateurism will never be addressed correctly. I’ve said multiple times. You can’t just have the schools pay the players. That’s not a realistic option. What you can have though is these kids being able to make money off their image and likeness. If a car dealership determines that Jalen Brunson is worth $5,000 to use his face on an ad, let that happen. Who is it hurting? Plus, who really cares? Who really is upset that a person is making money? It’s not changing anything in your life. It’s not changing anything you do. So where’s the harm? Yes, I know people will say boosters will just come in and throw around money. That’s true and I don’t care about that. But it also will be tamed the moment they miss on a target and it’s money wasted.
I’ll tell you what. The NCAA has wasted my time and your time with this Rice Commission and pretty much everything that has been said. I’ll go in as a consultant – because they tend to love fancy titles like that and work on getting this fixed. What do you say, NCAA? Let’s get the rules past the 1940s.