Mar 14, 2012, 6:28 PM EST
There’s a certain something that rings true in the headline of the New York Times profile of the situation surrounding the nation’s best high school player: “Everybody Wants a Piece of Nerlens Noel.”
The 4,500-word piece details Noel’s recruitment and the networks of former players, coaches, and advisers trying to surround him as he ascends to the college ranks and, most likely, the 2013 NBA draft.
This isn’t an unfamiliar story, the way adults flock to young stars, whether in movies, music, or athletics. As the buzzword “underbelly” of recruiting gets thrown around, the better question is how is this to be fixed, “fixed” in a way that eliminates exploitation?
The NCAA, thus far, has gone the route of prohibition. By cracking down in cases like those of Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli and Connecticut’s Ryan Boatright for impermissible benefit violations, the NCAA is taking the stance that enforcing the regulations will fix the problem, yet it continues.
Is there room for education and empowerment to fight the ills of the system?
A more concerted effort by the NCAA for comprehensive education systems to teach players and parents about the recruiting process would not only be an avenue to solve the problems and reduce the need for enforcement of violations, but would also be a strong public relations move in the face of what feels like a changing tide in the national opinion about the NCAA’s business model.
The restrictions of amateurism make monetary payment for work, legal and obligatory in all other spheres of the business world, illegal under NCAA bylaw, which leads to the biggest question yet, what can players do if they want monetary compensation?
The Atlantic wrote a lengthy piece published Wednesday about the idea of a strike by NCAA athletes, which would hurt the pockets of the NCAA, mostly by way of lost television revenue. Could it work? Would paying players expose the supposed “underbelly” of recruiting and shrink the problem, just as the end of the Prohibition Era in the United States almost eliminated its black market?
With the NCAA business model working its way into the mainstream of the national conversation, the NCAA will have critics to answer in the off-season, so stay tuned.
- Saturday’s Snacks: No. 18 West Virginia, Georgetown win absolute thrillers 0
- No. 11 Kansas makes a statement blowing out No. 17 Texas 1
- Bracket Update: Upcoming stretch could have major impact on Duke’s NCAA seeding 2
- Sister’s illness makes for a bittersweet homecoming for Tulsa head coach Frank Haith 0
- Weekend Preview: Things are heating up in the Big 12, plus Coach K No. 1,000? 0
- You think college basketball is unwatchable this year? Turn on an Indiana game 7
- Chase for 180: Boise State rebounds from 0-3 conference start thanks to Derrick Marks 0
- No. 6 Wisconsin utterly embarrassed No. 25 Iowa for more than one reason (13)
- The Top Ten Players that Coach K has had at Duke (12)
- You think college basketball is unwatchable this year? Turn on an Indiana game (7)
- College Basketball Talk’s Latest Top 25: So where do we rank Duke? (5)
- You Make The Call: Was this a charge on TaShawn Thomas? (VIDEO) (5)