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Friday Conversation: What's The Solution For Student-Athletes?

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Freshman ineligibility isn't the answer. But what is?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

When news first broke that the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten were exploring the possibility of reinstating freshman ineligibility, I had this whole big post planned. It was destined to reach #HotTake levels of pomp, calling the idea Un-American and turning this blog into some sort of weird college sports-themed InfoWars site.

I let it sit for a while and then I saw plenty of pieces like Jason Kirk's and I felt like I didn't really need to say anything else. It's a ludicrous idea put forth by the very people causing the problem in order to punish those who are already affected. We can discuss the merits of scholarships and compensation but I think most rational folks are on the same page that this simply would be a terrible idea.

So, that begs the question, what is the right idea?

If college athletics is broken, how do we fix it? DO we fix it? Is it a faulty house of cards that can never be fixed?

I've always wondered why the baseball model can't work in basketball or football. If you're good enough or have enough potential, why can't you go directly into some kind of professional minor league right away if that's all you want to do anyway? And if you're not good enough, you go to college but you have to commit to a certain number of years once you do. That seems pretty fair to me and it obviously works just fine for baseball. You don't hear people crying out in horror when an 18-year-old washes out in Scranton. It's just part of the deal. You might make it. You might not. You took a chance and that's what happens.

Maybe that's not the answer, though. But if its not, I'd love to hear yours. How do we make major college athletics equitable for all parties?