If college administrators are meeting, then you know it's time for them to bemoan the potential changes to the "collegiate model". Northwestern Wildcats AD Jim Phillips is the new Chair of the Division One Council and he's taking aim at the 1 and done problem in college basketball. According to Phillips, the NCAA needs to stand up to the NBA.
"We've allowed the National Basketball Association to dictate what our rules are, or influence what our rules are at the collegiate level.
"Nobody feels great about kids going to school for a semester and then leaving," he said. "That's crazy. It's absurd. So we've got to fix it.
"Why have we accepted that? Why have we just allowed that to happen without any pushback?"
Phillips has a point about nobody feeling great about students going to school for a year and leaving, but the notion that the "year of readiness" being pushed by the Big Ten is the solution is ridiculous. If it starts the conversation to look at ways to improve the student-athlete experience, then great. Instead of saying freshmen can't play, let's get schools to push for mandatory summer school funding and five years of eligibility. Those are changes that will improve graduation rates across the country.
"Notre Dame's just not prepared to participate in any model where the athlete isn't a student first and foremost — that's the hallmark for us. If the entire model were to move toward athletes as employees, we'd head in a different direction"
The issue I have with statements like this is that it denies that the model now isn't hurting the student-athletes. From another recent article, ND admits that the athletes might require more support and are working to improve the services, which is commendable. This is what these administrators across the country should be doing instead of focusing their energy on things out of their control.
I don't see how you can sit there and tell us that the current model is fine, when the leaders on your own campus recognize areas for improvement. Don't tell me you don't treat your athletes like employees already when we see things like the Under Armour deal and the money the school is making from NBC. You can't have it both ways, and if you aren't willing to adapt, then let's see you make good on these threats and turn away from those contracts.
Do you want to see a NCAA where freshmen are not eligible to play? Would paying student-athletes change your impression of college athletics? Let us know in the comments.