Posted: 2:17 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
It’s no secret that television is driving the college sports train, and a Kentucky professor is getting pretty hacked off about it.
Alan D. DeSantis makes the same points that a lot of people have made previously: with road games during the week, study time is minimal and basketball players are exploited.
Of course, since John Calipari turned Kentucky into a one-semester finishing program (the second semester is irrelevant if you start drawing a check the summer after your freshman year), his concerns might not mean that much in Lexington. But it’s worth keeping in mind when you have, say, Miami flying to Syracuse or Florida State heading out to Notre Dame.
It’s also worth remembering that a small number of players are going to be in the NBA anyway, and of those, only a few more than a couple of years. And of those, any number, woefully uneducated and naive, will not be able to retain their wealth. Recently we’ve seen Alan Iverson, who earned around $100 million during his career, go broke. It’s an old story.
The argument that education is a waste of time when you can make millions is only true if you know how to keep it. And where do you gain that knowledge? Duh – in college.
Perhaps one innovation the NCAA could consider – along with the NBA – would be to teach highly promising athletes basic financial literacy. One athlete recently – we can’t recall his name unfortunately – said that he was taught from day one to put half of his paycheck into the bank. He did it when he cut lawns and he does it as an NBA player. It’s not the most sophisticated strategy in the world, but it’s foolproof. As long as he has trustworthy advisers, he should never end up in Iverson’s position.