Thanks to a commenter, I found a great new website: Money Players - The Money. The Players. The business of professional sports, from high school to college to the pros. There is some great insight here about to a lot of issues especially in regards to amateur athletes.
My post on Sunday about college baseball solicited a comment about a story on Money Players addressing agents involvement with amateur athletes.
My analysis will focus on amateur baseball players and their involvement with so-called "family advisers" and NCAA rules governing these relationships. For most student-athletes agent prohibitions make sense. However, baseball players drafted by MLB teams are unique from other college athletes because they are automatically entered inMLB's amateur draft (rather than declaring for the draft like basketball and football players). While I am a big fan of MLB's system for drafting players, drafted ballplayers should have the opportunity to receive quality representation in negotiating their first professional contract. Maybe I am alone on this, but I think everyone's interests (players, schools, NCAA, agents) would be well served if the system for "advising" amateur baseball players is brought above board, rather than devising ways around NCAA rules ( athletes and agents certainly aren't the only ones figuring out loopholes) .
Why would the NCAA allow their baseball players to be entered into the draft without their consent? This is another example of the NCAA not knowing what the right or left hand is doing. If players are going to be automatically entered into the draft then there should be some mechanism for the players to get their questions answered without losing their eligibility.
The NCAA could put themselves into position to be the hero while protect their interests if they got out of the dark ages. If the NCAA is supposed to protect and look out for the players interests why would they then fertilize the environment for this type of corruption. I realize that there are a number questions that come up here but this sort of thinking out of the box could be beneficial to these athletes.
I am not naive enough to think that this sort of thinking work have stopped the alleged benefits that an O.J. Mayo might have received but instead of being a watch dog why not consider some sort of partnership with the pro leagues and agents with stiff penalties for those that break the rules.
Here is another great idea from another post!
The amateur baseball draft is the best system. Players are eligible to be drafted after their senior year of high school. They don't declare for the draft. They are simply drafted. Then if a Major League team offers them enough money, they sign. Otherwise, if they are not offered a sufficient contract they can go to an NCAA school...BUT THE PLAYERS MUST AGREE TO A 3-YEAR ENLISTMENT. Perhaps the NBA should consider this approach.
The marketplace decides who's ready. What a concept! And players don't have to rely on an agent or runner promises and hype. Everybody wins. Why not hold a supplemental NBA draft for high school players? NBA teams select players they think are worth signing. Drafted players either sign according to a rookie scale or they go to college. If a player signs, he goes to the NBDL for at least one season. If he opts to go to an NCAA school, he is not eligible for the NBA draft for three years. And to boot we can rid "declaring for the draft," "testing the waters" and "agent/outside influence" from our sports vernacular.
A lot of this stuff is a sham. I mean did anyone believe that Kevin Love was going to come back to ucla? Why the charade? He should have been able to sign with an agent right out of the box and off he goes. I understand why the NBA wants players to wait a year in regards to maturity and marketability. Are they so desperate to establish their brand that they would sell both the NBA and the NCAA short? The product would be so much better if the "minimum" requirements helped nurture the players into more responsible solid citizens that can also play at that level. I also agree that rookies should play one year in the "D" league before getting to the big dance. Surely some legitimate compromise can be made.
This is a great write-up by Mr. Isenberg. It is certainly not a magic bullet as there are some questions to be asked and answered but in reading a number of Isenberg’s posts he has an excellent grasp of the situation and this sort of thinking could go a long way towards finding a solution in the handling of agent / player relationships.