SBD/March 3, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Cuban Spouts Off Against "Hypocritical" NCAA Rules, Wants More Emphasis Put On D-League

Cuban said he offered $500M to a conference to withdraw from the NCAA
Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban believes that it is "in the best interests of elite prospects" to play in the NBA D-League "instead of spending one season in college," according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN DALLAS. Cuban said, "I think what will end up happening -- and this is my opinion, not that of the league -- is if the colleges don't change from the one-and-done, we'll go after the one. The NCAA rules are so hypocritical, there's absolutely no reason for a kid to go (to college), because he's not going to class (and) he's actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball. So if the goal is just to graduate to the NBA or be an NBA player, go to the D-League" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 3/1). Cuban: "Hopefully at some point we'll have some kind of secondary draft like baseball, where you can draft a kid starting in the third round and let him play in the D-League." He added, "There is no reason for the NCAA to exist. None" (DALLASNEWS.com, 3/1). Cuban said that his idea "is not yet a well-researched proposal, just an opinion." He added that agreements with colleges "could still give players a shot at an education." Cuban: "A major college has to pretend that they're treating them like a student-athlete. It's a big lie and we all know it's a big lie. We can do all kinds of things that the NCAA doesn't allow schools to do that would really put the individual first" (AP, 3/1). In Ft. Worth, Dwain Price noted Cuban "attempted to put up $500 million to finance a major college conference if it would withdraw from the NCAA." Cuban would not say "which conference he approached with his idea," but the offer "is still there." Cuban said, "I actually talked to a college AD and I said, ‘For your conference, the top 10 teams, I would put up $500 million for you to withdraw from the NCAA and create a new conference or new setup without the same hypocrisy geared toward student-athletes.' They laughed, but I was serious" (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 3/1). Cuban: “We know that the one and done in college doesn’t work well and a lot of that is the fault of the NBA. I mean, we created that” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 3/3).

THE 'OL COLLEGE TRY: SPORTS ON EARTH's Colin McGowan writes, "Who knows if Cuban’s D-League proposal will ever formalize, but one imagines it would be difficult to get the majority of NBA owners to sign off on it precisely because they don’t think like him: It’s hard to sell myopic rich guys on something that will cost a hefty amount of money but doesn’t obviously positively impact their bottom line." But while the NBA "might take some minor steps to make the D-League a more hospitable place for good young players who don’t want to or can’t go to college, it’s hard to see it overhauling its minor league." Especially since the NCAA is a "decent enough training ground for which the NBA pays nothing." (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 3/3). SPORTING NEWS' Mike DeCourcy writes the age limit of 19 instituted for the '07 draft "is not an NCAA rule," but one the NBA "negotiated" with the NBPA. It is "Cuban's rule, whether he wants to own it or not." Cuban "did not address the fact that many personnel executives in his league encourage players who clearly are not prepared for pro ball to enter the draft merely so they can gamble a late-first round pick on them." What Cuban "neglects ... is the marketing job [colleges] have done on behalf of the league, turning barely-known high school basketball players into household names" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/3).
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