NCAA woes: More repairs needed for hoops, all college sports | Idaho College Sports

By EDDIE PELLS – AP National Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If the nine months leading up to Monday night’s national title game between Kansas and North Carolina has proven anything, it’s that college basketball and all college sports change.

Whoever shapes all of these changes – and it won’t necessarily be the NCAA – will help decide whether the next decade in this multi-billion dollar ecosystem of sports, entertainment and education turns into an efficiently run business or transforms in chaos. Either is a possibility.

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And while the governing body is waving all but the white flag when it comes to understanding many of the transformative changes these issues present, there is a growing sense that this might not be a bad thing.

“Now is not the time to look at the details,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Friday, the day before his retirement loss to North Carolina sealed his retirement. “It’s time to look at the set.”

Top of the to-do list is finding a workable system for “name, image and likeness” (NIL) agreements.

Players can now earn money through referral deals. It’s a huge shift in the whole dynamic of the college, a business in which players have made millions through March Madness, but most of it has been passed on to coaches, new stadiums and weight rooms and the workings of the rest of the university’s athletic department.

“I’m definitely happy to have some money in my pocket,” Duke guard Trevor Keels said over the weekend.

But some argue that NIL is a deviation from what really needs to happen – which is to have schools pay players directly for their work.

In a roundabout way, this is happening anyway, as donors and others who pump money into sports programs are now funneling some of the dough into school-branded “collectives” that create sponsorship opportunities for athletes.

The workaround seems quite acceptable at the moment. But the NCAA has handed over all control of it, depending on state laws, school oversight and, possibly, an eventual federal law to regulate everything.

“It has been and still is the case that we need to ask Congress to help us find a single legal model” to run NIL, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

In the current hodgepodge of rules, there is very little public information about who does what and who pays the bills. The concept of millions of dollars floating around without transparency seems to no one the best business model for a sport filled with athletes in their teens and early twenties.

“One of my biggest concerns isn’t even players doing the campaigns or getting paid,” said Barbara Jones of Outshine Talent. “It’s that they give or promise too much and don’t even realize it.”

Another topic is gender disparity. Congress held hearings on the matter during the tournament. Last year, the differences in how the men’s and women’s games were handled was summed up in a video taken by Oregon‘s Sedona Prince of the lame weight room during the women’s tournament.

The NCAA commissioned a task force and a panel made recommendations. Most of the changes seemed like a facade. They included adding four teams to bring the women’s draw to 68, moving the women’s final from Tuesday to Sunday, and implementing the “March Madness” branding on the women’s tournament in addition to the men’s tournament.

Meanwhile, the NCAA still holds a vastly undervalued women’s media contract, the details of which paint the picture of the NCAA as a dull bureaucracy that doesn’t change with the times. The shortcomings are all the more palpable as this is the 50th anniversary of the Title IX law that was designed to create equal opportunity for women in sports.

“I call it hot dogs for the girls and steak for the boys,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.

Elsewhere, the new transfer rule is an attempt to rectify one of the sport’s biggest hypocrisies, which was that coaches could move to the highest bidder without any restrictions, but players didn’t have the same freedom. Now they are, but when combined with NIL, it threatens to create a kind of free agency system, which many in the college game would like to avoid.

The convoluted and ineffective rulebook has also left the NCAA feeling set in stone.

Emmert practically admitted that the fixes to establish an independent committee weren’t working well. One consequence is that he came to New Orleans with the prospect of handing the title trophy to coach Bill Self, whose Kansas program was marred by a complex half-year-old investigation. decade that still threatens the future of the Jayhawks.

“It’s common knowledge,” Self said. “We’ve been dealing with stuff off the pitch for a while.”

Like most troubled schools, Kansas’ problems center on recruiting top talent, which brings us back to the NCAA’s oldest problem – the “One and Done” rule that allows players to leave after one year of college.

Emmert’s well-worn dodge on this rule is that it’s technically part of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, so what should the NCAA do? But when it comes to uncovering the details and their impact on college play, Krzyzewski said he’s had more contact with NBA commissioner Adam Silver over the years than anyone in the NCAA office.

As Krzyzewski leaves coaching in the rearview mirror, he is struck by the number of decisions made by NCAA boards and committees that don’t address current day-to-day issues.

He would like to see a less centralized NCAA – one that would allow men’s basketball to decide its own issues, and perhaps the same with women’s hoops and all other sports.

Whether a new model looks like what Krzyzewski envisions, or something else, there’s a growing sense that big changes are coming for college sports.

“Whatever you work at, or whatever you do, it never stays the status quo,” Self said. “We have to keep evolving.”

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