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Jalen Green’s G League deal should make NCAA uncomfortable

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community news, Jalen Greens G League deal should make NCAA uncomfortable

For decades, the NCAA and NBA have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, with NCAA men’s basketball serving as a training ground for future NBA players. That’s not to say the NCAA and NBA have improperly conspired. They have simply acted in mutually beneficial ways.

Consider the NCAA and its more than 1,200 member conferences and universities. The NCAA and its members have clearly profited from the marketability of elite hoops. Highly skilled and marketable players help their college teams win games, increase ticket sales and enhance TV ratings. The universities themselves also gain. Winning teams lead to more appealing athletic programs. That dynamic, in turn, aids university admissions officers in recruiting high school students who want to attend colleges that feature “big-time” sports. It also assists university foundation staff in providing alumni with reasons to be proud of their alma mater and to donate back to the school. Schools only need to reimburse the players for their tuition, room, board, books and related costs of education. Economically, it’s an advantageous bargain for the schools.

NBA teams, meanwhile, can watch talented but raw prospects develop in college, sometimes under the tutelage of excellent coaches, without having to finance that development. The NCAA operates as a free minor league system for the NBA, just like it does so for the NFL and other pro leagues. To that point, one of the main reasons why the NBA successfully pushed for an elevated age eligibility rule in 2005 was the belief that the league would gain if 18-year-old players spent a year honing their skills in college. The NBA reached this conclusion even though three of the NBA’s greatest players of all-time, LeBron James, the late Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, joined the league out of high school.

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