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Georgia State coach Ron Hunter proposes unique idea for NCAA potentially paying players

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Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter shared a unique way that the NCAA could compensate student-athletes as the debate about paying college athletes continues to rage on.

In a candid interview with Atlanta’s NBC 11Alive Sports, Hunter talked about the possibility of the NCAA putting money away in some sort of trust fund that could be accessed after a college career is finished. Since Hunter is a Division I college basketball head coach with a son, R.J., who went on to play in the NBA, he has some interesting qualifications for proposing ideas like this.

“I have always said, from when my son (R.J. Hunter) played (at Georgia State), when a university can sell a young man’s jersey or likeness, I believe that young man should be paid. Maybe not at that time, but put it in a trust fund. If that money is going to the university, it should be paid in a sense—not a stipend. Special talent should be paid. I think the NCAA is moving towards that,” Hunter said.

The idea of the NCAA withholding money from student-athletes and paying them in the future seems a little bit troubling — would schools be transparent with revenue knowing they’d potentially share money with student-athletes? Who would hold them accountable?

But Hunter’s idea could also add some some other interesting wrinkles. Say that the NCAA goes along with this idea and schools started to put money into some sort of fund while players were still in school. Similar to a corporation that gives a 401K and matches contributions from its employees, schools could work to benefit student-athletes who stuck around longer.

Some college basketball programs have resorted to paying coaches with stock options, most notably Arizona’s Sean Miller, who has a “longevity bonus” that was given to him in 2014 by an Arizona booster. Miller’s bonus payment is due in May 2020 as the vested share in the stock was worth $4.1 million as of early April.

The hypothetical student-athletes involved in this scenario wouldn’t receive nearly as much as the example provided for Sean Miller. Maybe the funds come from the school itself or a booster like in Miller’s case. If the trust is controlled until a player turns pro then maybe the NCAA would somehow allow that within its sanctity of “amateurism.”

It’s an evolving idea to throw around to potentially give student-athletes something more than just a scholarship and a stipend. Either way, maybe Hunter is on to something here.

VIDEO Ron Hunter dances at Georgia State’s midnight madness

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Georgia State’s Ron Hunter appears to have recovered from the Achilles tendon tear he suffered last March while celebrating the Panthers winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title.

On Thursday night, at the third annual GSU Jam, Hunter broke out the dance moves to the song “Hit The Quan” by iHeart Memphis.

Georgia State went on to defeat No. 3 seed Baylor in the Round of 64, thanks to a game-winning three from Hunter’s son, R.J. That shot made for one of the best moments of March Madness, as Ron Hunter fell of his rolling chair in disbelief.

R.J. Hunter is nowa a rookie with the Boston Celtics. Ron Hunter enters his fifth season with the Panthers.

Georgia State lands commitment from a top 100 recruit

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Ron Hunter may not be recovered from his ruptured achilles tendon yet, but the Georgia State head coach is still competing at a level above his program’s conference.

Late on Wednesday night, Hunter landed a commitment from D’Marcus Simonds, a talented, 6-foot-4 shooting guard. Simonds was originally committed to Mississippi State but he reopened his recruitment after Rick Ray was fired by the university.

“There’s no place like home!” Simonds, a native of Buford, Georgia, said on twitter. “I will be continuing my basketball career and education at Georgia State University!”

Simonds is one of the more talented guards in the south, the No. 84 recruit in the Class of 2016, according to Rivals. Simonds will be a nice piece for Hunter to build around, as he’ll arrive on campus after Kevin Ware graduates and when Indiana transfer Jeremy Hollowell is a senior. Former top 150 recruit and Alabama transfer Devin Mitchell will be a sophomore that year as well.

Georgia State is coming off of an upset win over No. 3 Baylor in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA tournament.

Former Alabama guard transfers to Georgia State

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Georgia State has been active recruiting transfers the last few offseasons and the Panthers and head coach Ron Hunter landed a commitment from former Alabama guard Devin Mitchell, he announced.

The 6-foot-4 Mitchell is a former Rivals top-150 prospect but only saw limited action during his freshman season with the Crimson Tide. With Alabama hiring a new head coach in Avery Johnson, it was probably best for a fresh start for both parties. Mitchell played 76 total minutes during the 2014-15 season and scored nine points and tallied four assists. He struggled from the field, going 3-for-23 and 2-for-17 from 3-point range.

The Sun Belt might be a better fit for Mitchell and Hunter has found a lot of success taking in transfers. Ryan Harrow had a successful two-year run at Georgia State after transferring from Kentucky and former Louisville guard Kevin Ware also made his way to the Panthers.

Tournament darling R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA


Georgia State star R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA, the school announced on Monday.

Hunter, who just finished his junior season, is projected by Draft Express to be a late first round pick in the 2015 draft, although he struggled a bit shooting the ball as a junior. His three-point percentage fell from 39.7 to 29.8 as a junior, although his assist numbers did double to 3.5 per game as he spent more time playing on the ball than in past season.

Hunter, along with his father, became a sensation during the 2015 NCAA tournament. After Ron Hunter, who also happens to be R.J.’s head coach at GSU, tore his achilles tendon celebrating a win in the Sun Belt title game, he was relegated to a scooter to get around and a desk chair to use while coaching on the sidelines.

In one of the most unforgettable moments in recent NCAA tournament history, R.J. capped a 13-0 run in which he scored 12 points with a game-winning three to land an upset of No. 3 Baylor, a shot that knocked Ron right out of his chair:

Georgia State golf team celebrates R.J. Hunter’s game-winner (VIDEO)

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Thursday afternoon Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter made one of the biggest shots in school history, as his three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining gave the Panthers a 57-56 win over No. 3 Baylor. This is the second time that the Panthers have won a game in the NCAA tournament, with the first coming in 2001 under then-head coach Lefty Driesell.

Understandably there was a lot of excitement over the win, especially amongst members of the Georgia State golf team who posted a video of their reaction to the team’s Twitter account.

h/t ESPN