The question I’ve been asked the most over the last week is how we can fix what’s wrong with college basketball.
And, believe it or not, my opinion on the matter is no different than that of John Calipari.
To start, let the players have an agent.
“Players should be allowed representation just like they have in baseball,” Calipari said, according to FanRag Sports. “They don’t need a new model because there’s already a model in place. That’s what they do in baseball.”
Agents have this nefarious connotation when it comes to college sports, but the truth of the matter is that an agent is simply a representative for a player that helps that athlete navigate the business side of professional athletics. That’s literally their job, and their incentives line up with the player that employs them – if the agent is getting 4 percent of every dollar a client makes, the bigger the salary the bigger that 4 percent ends up being.
Cal also discusses putting an end to amateurism, which, like it or not, is the reason we are here in the first place.
“Players should be able to earn income because of their name, their signature, and their likeness,” he added. “If a uniform is sold with a player’s name on it, the player should get a percentage on it. If they want to go out and sign autographs, let them sign autographs. The money should be deferred. They should be able to sign a shoe contract too, but the money should be deferred unless it’s used by the parents of the player for transportation or expenses to come and see the kid’s play. They’re not professionals if that happens and it probably eliminates a lot of stuff.”
I don’t know that I’d even go as far as forcing the payments to be deferred, but this would at least be a step in the right direction.
And, quite frankly, it would solve all of the problems that are never going to go away under the current model.