The landscape of college basketball is rapidly changing for the worse. The NCAA seems unable or perhaps unwilling to chart a new course. The NBA behaves in a manner that leads one to believe they are not going to help either.
College recruiting, one and dones, highschoolers to Europe, shoe company tournaments, academic non-qualifiers, allegiance to AAU coach not "State U," the list could never end.
Athletes should be made to sign with their college of choice by the deadline established by the school for regular students, usually sometime in February. Just like every other applicant, the "student-athlete" will have to apply and submit transcripts and standardized test scores.
Once an athlete is approved by a school the athlete will not be allow to "re-open" recruitment without penalty year. Allow schools to pay AAU coaches a disclosed amount of money for their recruiting services. Get rid of the backroom BS.
It always amazes me that these high school prospects have entourages, Sports Illustrated covers, ESPN movies, personal trainers, etc. but nobody bothers to review their grades or test scores so they can qualify for college. When players are committed earlier, it will allow college administrators more time to help "student athletes" get everything in order.
The current NBA rule that requires an entrant to the draft be 19 years or older and one year removed from HS graduating class does not work. The rule should be amended to a) two years in JUCO, Div I, II or III college b) players can be selected from NBADL after one year and can still enter after HS c) ALL players must complete mandatory NBA entrance curriculum course (more on that later) d) players must be invited to enter draft by League.
Most athletes are not ready for the NBA after their freshman season. The success to failure ratio is vast. If you are a super phenom and you want to be in league ASAP go to the NBADL.
The NBA "farm" system is an absolute joke. This move would put marquee athletes into that league and would increase the relevance. The NBA could now market that arm of its league for television, radio, advertising and make it an overall better product.
This would allow players to fully develop their skill sets and reset the basketball world to its normal order. College basketball is for "team ball" and the glory of playing for State U; let the pro leagues be for players. You watch college because you care about the school, you watch the NBA to see Kobe make a tip dunk from 10 feet.
The most important aspect of this change would be the NBA curriculum course. The NCAA, with the collaboration of the NBA, MLB, NFL, etc., would construct a two year college degree program that would encompass an education that fits the athlete's career.
There would be a mix of business type courses that would cover contracts, money management, investments, insurance, and so forth. Let's stop creating millionaire dolts that squander their money on Bentleys with gold plated headrests.
The course would also have elements of ethics, morality, and legal issues. Most of these kids don't have the best of situations growing up and need some mentoring and education on how to become a participating member of society.
For the guys that opted for the NBADL route, these classes could be taken in an online or correspondence type version.
Lastly, the NBA needs to invite athletes to participate in the draft. There is no reason to have 400 entrants for a 64 person draft. Let the new and improved NBADL have a draft and limit the number of NBA draftees to around 150.
Basketball is a billion dollar business that has been allowed to operate like a mafia. It corrupts the education and well being of children. Take the necessary steps to legitimize the entire process and the end result will create a better CBB environment, a finished NBA product, and a new and exciting "farm system."