Big Ten Commish: Let the High School Jocks Turn Pro
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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany rattled some cages and got some cheers of approval from his peers today by suggesting that high school players skip college and go straight to the pros.
“Maybe in football and basketball, it would work better if more kids had a chance to go directly into the professional ranks,” Delany said. “If they’re not comfortable and want to monetize, let the minor leagues flourish. Train at IMG, get agents to invest in your body, get agents to invest in your likeness and establish it on your own. But don’t come here and say, ‘We want to be paid $25,000 or $50,000.’ Go to the D-League and get it, go to the NBA and get it, go to the NFL and get it. Don’t ask us what we’ve been doing.
“If an athlete wants to professionalize themselves, professionalize themselves. We’ve been training kids for professional sports. I argue it’s the color, I argue it’s the institution. If you think it’s about you, then talk to John Havlicek about that, you’ve got to talk to Michael Jordan about that. These brands have been built over 100 years.”
Wait a minute, isn't that what colleges and universities are these days, minor leagues? Isn't that what this fight is all about is paying student-athletes? What Delany is advocating would probably destroy college football as we know it, if it's not happening already, and by the big-brand conferences, no less.
Which I guess would be OK with Delany, since his conference can't seem to beat the big boys of the BCS on a regular basis anyway, so why not destroy the system? Maybe the Big Ten would be able to compete with the SEC if that were to happen.
Don't be fooled folks; Delany doesn't care about these kids. If he did, he'd be advocating pay-for-play. What he wants is the Ivy League system where athletes receive no scholarships and everyone is on a even playing field.
Because he knows, realistically, that's the only way his conference may have a legitimate shot at a national championship in football every year.