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Thursday, March 29, 2012

None and Done?

Every now and then, the NBA's CEO - aka Commissioner David Stern - likes to go off on someone publicly, especially if that someone has teed-off on the NBA and was quoted by multiple media sources.  Many times, it's an ill-informed executive with an agenda to bad-mouth the "big bad" NBA for the sake of everything they believe to be good about collegiate athletics. Most times, said exec overlooks the fact the NCAA political infrastructure makes Washington DC seem like a small cow town.

Easy David Stern jabs NCAA suits and by-laws
Anyway, the media reports are poring in from Phoenix where the NBA's main man met the media as the NCAA was convening in NOLA for the annual Final 4.  The topic of "one and done" came up once again with the NCAA  and school execs pointing the finger at the pros, yet never making any significant strides to right their own ship.

Here's a clip of what Stern had to offer via ProBasketballTalk's NBC Sports site via multiple reporters on site from Phx AZ:

“A college could always not have players who are one and done,” Stern said. “They could do that. They could actually require the players to go to classes.
“Or they could get the players to agree that they stay in school, and ask for their scholarship money back if they didn’t fulfill their promises. There’s all kinds of things that, if a bunch of people got together and really wanted to do it, instead of talk about it …”
At this point in the discussion, deputy commissioner Adam Silver made a face that seemed to say, “I wish he hadn’t said that.” But Stern was largely light-hearted in his suggestions, and talked bigger picture about young players whose primary goal is to secure a place in the NBA.
“Years ago, I said to the NCAA, I’ve got a great idea,” he said. ‘We’ll insure a select group of basketball players. And that will make them more likely to stay in school, because they won’t feel the loss of a big contract. We’ll designate a pool, and those that are lucky enough to be drafted and make money will pay us back, and those that don’t, it’s our expense. The NCAA I think took it to a committee, that takes it to a census, that took it to a conference, then they have a congress and they came back to me and they said, well, it will only work under our rules if we do that for all sports. And I said, I don’t think that’ll work.”
But what would work, at least for the NBA, is a longer period of time to evaluate talent at the college level.
“I agree with the NCAA that it would be great for us — I’m not concerned about NCAA, and our rules are not social programs,” Stern said. “We don’t think it’s appropriate for us to lecture kids as to whether they should or shouldn’t go to school. For our business purposes, the longer we can get to look at young men playing against first-rate competition, that’s a good thing. Because draft picks are very valuable things.
“For the young men we say, you can go to college,” Stern continued. “You can play in the NBA Development League, (as an 18-year old), or you can go to Europe. And we’ve had players go to the D-League and be drafted, we’ve had players go to Europe and be drafted, and we’ve had players go to college. For us, it’s one more year. We proposed to the players two more, and it was sufficiently contentious around that. We agreed, as all good negotiators do, we referred it to a sub-committee and we’re going to have meetings about it to see how that works out. “

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