The Erosion of College Basketball

The Erosion of College Basketball

This will not be a popular piece. Let’s get that out of the way in the beginning.

What this article will not claim is that college athletes should not receive some sort of compensation for the revenue that they generate. They should, but it’s predictably already getting out of hand.

Unpopular Opinion

The NCAA allowing college athletes to profit on their name, image and likeness is not a bad thing in and of itself. Where the idea fails is with the NCAA itself. They have proven time and time again that they are either inept or that they really don’t care.

Don’t forget that the NCAA is made up of its member institutions. So why wouldn’t they want the best players in the country to get paid by outside interests in order to get these kids into college and maximize program television exposure?

Should the players be paid or compensated outside of free tuition, board, medical treatment, education and tutoring? Of course. Should Ty Ty Washington be driving around the Lexington campus in a brand new Porsche?

Probably not, but that is up to the decision makers at Porsche Louisville. Is it monetarily viable to provide that vehicle? What is the ROI there? When was this deal struck? What do the “rules” state?

Asking the NCAA to regulate gifts and how the new NIL rule impacts recruiting is like asking my dog to fly the space shuttle. This is the same organization that can’t get kid’s grades through the clearing house before declaring them eligible after committing/ transferring.

Polls

In a recent CBS critical coaches poll, it was (not surprisingly) revealed that recruiting “cheating” has only increased with newly instituted NIL “rules.” This is a coaches poll taken by CBS where Division 1 coaches are able to comment anonymously.

It’s not just the governing body that is destroying what I consider to be the greatest sport in the world. Individual institutions are chasing the almighty dollar and shaking up the landscape through realignment. Once again, teams are conference jumping in 2021 and ruining another aspect of college sports: Rivalry.

Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave the Big XII and join the SEC in July of 2025 creating an even more ridiculous football conference than it already is. However, what happens to the Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State (Bedlam) rivalry?

Is it going to be replaced with Oklahoma State and Central Florida? What about Texas vs Texas Tech? I guess we can survive with Texas Tech vs Cincinnati. That’s just as sexy.

We have already lost Syracuse and Georgetown for the most part. Though the two programs still play with some regularity, it’s not what it once was.

That’s just a single example of many fantastic rivalries that died with the old Big East. Maryland chased television money to the B1G and the Terps haven’t played Duke since 2014. Seven years later, Maryland still feels like they don’t belong in the B1G.

Conferences don’t even make sense any longer. It used to be based on region or at least pretended to be. Now, we have a conference that spans from Orlando to Philly and down to Houston.

The ACC has 15 members, 11 of which are located south of the Mason Dixon Line. Thankfully though, we have the Miami Hurricanes vs Boston College Eagles annual battle for the bottom. Terrific regional rivalry there, khaki shorts and flip flops vs snow suits and Bean boots.

Should we talk about transfers? Sure. It is only a small part of what is wrong with college basketball but this is basically a RICO investigation and each small piece is a contributing factor. Once again, it needs to be said so I am not crucified on social media:

Should student athletes be allowed to transfer without consequence

Absolutely.

However, according to Verbal Commits, there were 1,776 transfers in 2021. If that number isn’t a fantastic coincidence when talking about freedom in America, I don’t know what is.

There is absolutely zero reason for there to be that many transfers. Those aren’t first time transfers either. Kansas guard Jalen Coleman-Lands is preparing to suit up for his FOURTH program.

He began his college career while Barack Obama was in office. Same with Khadim Sy, a center who left Virginia Tech twice for JUCO, ended up at Ole Miss the last two seasons and will play for Wake Forest this season.

Are there situations that can lead to these kinds of circumstances? More than likely. Do I know what they are? No. However, 1776 is a big number and that transfer number seems to grow every season, indicating a systemic issue.

In closing, what is there to be done here? I don’t know for sure. Coaches leave on a whim after promising the world to 17 year old kids, why can’t the kids do the same?

The NIL rules were seemingly flung out there with reckless abandon to distract everyone from all of the bad press surrounding college sports in recent years. A shiny object to indicate that they do actually think about what is good for the student athletes while they are counting their tournament television profits.

However, all of the monetary responsibility falls upon third parties. So, the NCAA’s product improves or, at worst remains flat, and they paid nothing additional for it.

It is no longer recruiting, it’s free agency. So, if you can go to Kentucky and drive a Porsche or you can go to Kansas and drive a Toyota who wins? Do you think that doesn’t factor into a college aged person’s mind when making a decision?

Should these players be compensated? Given the revenue they generate, of course. Should Turk fly the space shuttle? Probably not.

About Mychal Hunter 20 Articles
I am the founder of ACC Basketball Report and the host of the podcast of the same name. I am a college basketball expert that also appreciates the NFL. I am a Rockin 25 voter which is made up of the best independent CBB experts in the nation and appear on the weekly reveal show which is syndicated throughout the country. I am also an expert analyst on TallySight.com.

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