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Condoleezza Rice's Useless Commission On College Basketball Gives Useless Recommendations

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Condoleezza Rice and her fellow members of the Commission on College Basketball stood on stage in Indianapolis Wednesday morning and announced to the world their plan to fix college basketball—aside from a few bright spots, it was a largely disappointing, half-hearted attempt at pushing back the inevitable decay of the amateurism model.

So, here’s the good stuff: The commission called for the NBA and NBAPA to end the restrictive one-and-done rule and allow pro-ready athletes to enter the league straight out of high school. They also lobbied for earlier contact with NCAA-certified agents to help high school athletes make this decision, and asked that the NCAA allow athletes that that enter the NBA draft but don’t get drafted to retain their eligibility.

These are all, on their own, fine rules and decent starting places for future NCAA legislation to continue along this line. Unfortunately, they were surrounded by a sea of terrible ideas and logic, all pulled straight from the NCAA bylaws.

Rice stood at the podium and threatened to reinstitute freshman ineligibility if the one-and-done rule is not repealed, an arcane and utterly baffling idea that will help no one. Rice also pushed the idea of regionalized NCAA-run showcase tournaments as a way to combat the free reign of AAU and similar high school tourneys. This is another dumb, half-*ssed move which would only give the NCAA more power and jurisdiction when it can barely handle the responsibilities it has now. Rice also called for harsher NCAA-led punishments, saying they’d like to see the Level I violation penalties bumped up—as seen in every case ever that involves a ton of money exchanging hands, harsher penalties will serve as only an initial deterrent, before schools and shoe companies find new channels to subvert them. And, most egregiously, Rice and the commission f*cking punted as fast as they could when it came to the topic of an athlete’s right to profit from their own name, image, and likeness—because of NCAA amateurism rules, athletes currently cannot use their athletic talents or achievements to earn money, in any way, or they will lose their eligibility.


I could do without the gratuitous profanity, but Mr. Martin makes some good points.


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