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SBD/April 10, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NBA's Silver Addresses Raising Age Limit, Suggests Possible Subsidy For College Players
Published April 10, 2014
COLLEGE CREDITS: Silver yesterday said that the NBA "might consider subsidizing athletes to make them feel better" about playing another year of college basketball if the age limit were raised. ESPN.com's Darren Rovell wrote the league is considering this step because Silver is "intent on keeping basketball players in college for another year." Silver said that he "was willing to work with the NCAA to give athletes a more fair deal." He added that he "could envision the league potentially contributing to make up the actual cost of attendance gap above what the players get for their scholarships and getting involved in a more complete insurance plan, which could include total disability insurance should an athlete return to school and injure himself so badly he could never play again." Rovell noted the NCAA currently "provides only a preferred loan rate to elite athletes whom it deems to be potential high draft picks" (ESPN.com, 4/9).
JERSEY GUY: Silver said, "When it comes to advertising on jerseys, I do think it's inevitable." He added, "To me, it's that much more of an opportunity for our sponsors to get closer to our game and to be closer to our athletes." Silver said the league has discussed "some sort of relatively small patch that would have an advertiser's logo, most likely not even their name." Silver: "We're looking at a bunch of different opportunities and some people said the reason we were looking at sleeves is that we'd have more real estate on the jerseys. That was never the case." He said of ads on the normal tank top NBA jersey, "Just in terms of the real estate and the aesthetic and the look, I think we'd be much more likely to be looking at a patch or something like that." Silver also addressed some of the players' complaints about the sleeved jerseys, saying, "I get that one, whether it's superstition or players just don't like it or they're sensitive to feeling sleeves when they're shooting. That's something we have to tread very carefully on, especially long-term, if there's any suggestion that it impacts the competition or the field of players" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 4/9).