Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is not a fan of the NCAA and the rule that requires players to be one year removed from high school and at least 19 years old before entering the NBA.
Cuban thinks the NBA Development League is preferable to a year in college, saying the one-and-done players are not prepared mentally and emotionally for the NBA.
“I think what will end up happening — and this is my opinion, not that of the league — is if the colleges don’t change from the one-and-done, we’ll go after the one,” Cuban said, according to ESPNDallas.com. “The NCAA rules are so hypocritical, there’s absolutely no reason for a kid to go (to college) because he’s not going to class.
“He’s actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball. So if the goal is just to graduate to the NBA or be an NBA player, go to the D-League.”
Cuban would like to see the NBA work with universities to provide tuition assistance for players who opt for the D-League out of high school to take college classes. He even suggests guaranteeing tuition to players in the event that a pro career does not work out.
“You have to develop some level of maturity, and that has to be part of the process,” Cuban said. “You don’t want to bring kids in and just abandon them. That’d be the worst thing we could do.
“We’d have to make it so where there’d be very strict policies and rules so that, even if you’re not going to go to (college) class, there’s going be life (skills) classes — how do you deal with the world? — and you have to attend those. You have to keep up with those. We’d have very strict (rules) on why you’d be suspended if you didn’t live up to them. Things that should be done to student-athletes in college and are just not. Or not always.”
One player has gone straight from high school to the D-League and bypassed college. Latavious Williams was drafted by the D-League Tulsa 66ers and then selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft. But he is now in Spain and has yet to play in the NBA.
“We can get rid of all the hypocrisy and improve the education,” Cuban said. “If the whole plan is just to go to college for one year maybe or just the first semester, that’s not a student-athlete. That’s ridiculous.
“You don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to pretend. A major college has to pretend that they’re treating them like a student-athlete, and it’s a big lie and we all know it’s a big lie. At least at most schools, not all. … But we can put more of an emphasis on their education. We can plan it out, have tutors. We can do all kinds of things that the NCAA doesn’t allow schools to do that would really put the individual first.”
Cuban underscored his disdain for college athletics’ governing body by saying, “There’s no reason for the NCAA to exist. None.”
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