clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Barack Obama, former players speak out on how to fix college basketball

New, 4 comments

These suggestions would definitely produce change.

President Obama Hosts The University Of Kentucky Men's Basketball Team Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Corruption has existed in college sports since their inception.

Some of the cheating has been addressed over the years, but much of it has been swept under the rug. The issue of money changing hands between agents, runners, recruits, and sometimes coaches, has come to a head with the recent FBI investigation.

It is more clear than ever that something must be done.

But what?

Thankfully, there is no shortage of opinions out there for how to fix this issue. Recently, many analysts and former players have come forward with their recommendations, and even former President Barack Obama has offered some solutions to the problem.

As referenced in an article over at The Spun, President Obama is not a big fan of the hierarchy of college athletics.

“It’s just not a sustainable way of doing business. Then when everybody acts shocked that some kid from extraordinarily poor circumstances who’s got 5, 10, 15 million dollars waiting for him is going to be circled by everybody in a context in which people are making billions of dollars, it’s not good.”

Obama suggests creating a league for NBA prospects that is not exactly the G-League, but would give players destined for the league another option besides collegiate basketball. LaVar Ball has been trying to put together a similar league and has contacted current recruits, but he has had no luck building a base of players.

Is this the first time Barack Obama and LaVar Ball have ever been on the same page? Probably.

Former Michigan Wolverines star and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose has an idea that would have a more immediate impact, if the players could get on the same page to take a stand.

“I wish NCAA players understood the power that they now have. In a climate of so many things that are changing, so many discussions that have now come to the forefront that have been closeted for so very long – for a multitude of reasons. I wish NCAA players would exercise that power by boycotting the NCAA tournament.”

“How many people pay attention to collegiate basketball in March? (Millions). How many people in office pools and casual basketball fans or people who never watch basketball at all are filling out NCAA brackets? (Tons) Why are they filling out those brackets?”

“Fun? Interesting?! They’re doing it to bet! They’re doing it for the money.”

In the report by The Spun on Rose’s comments, Andrew Holleran points out that the TV rights for the NCAA Tournament alone exceeds $8 million. If an actual boycott was to be organized, there would be no choice but to listen to the players and make changes for their benefit.

Boycotts have been very powerful in our nation’s history, but getting on the same page with this one would be very complex. Playing in the NCAA Tournament can be viewed as a lifetime achievement by many, and those goes for coaches and players. Giving that up sounds much simpler than it actually is.

What do you think of these suggestions? Have you heard any ideas that you believe would be a plausible fix for these problems that are ruining college basketball?