NCAA Trouble: More hoop repairs needed, all college sports Sports news

Author EDI PELLS, AP National Writer

NEW ORLENS (AP) – If the nine months that led to Monday’s title game between Kansas and North Carolina have proven anything, it is that college basketball and all college sports are changing.

Whoever shapes all these changes – and not necessarily the NCAA – will help decide whether the next decade in this multibillion-dollar ecosystem of sports, entertainment and education will grow into an efficiently run business or turn into chaos. Both are possibilities.

The NCAA has struggled with the rules and outcomes of efforts to pay players, ensure gender equality, conclude a new transfer portal, simplify an increasingly cluttered system of offenses and, of course, address the long-debated “One and Done” rule. .

And while the governing body is just waving a white flag when it comes to detecting the many transformative changes these problems represent, there is a growing sense that this may not be a bad thing.

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“This is not the time to watch the nits and the little things,” Duke coach Mike Kzyzewski said on Friday, the day before his defeat by North Carolina sealed his retirement. “It’s time to look at the whole thing.”

First on the list of obligations is finding a sustainable system for jobs “name, image and similarity” (NIL).

Players can now earn money from sponsorship deals. It is a huge change in the entire dynamics of the college, a job in which players generated millions through the March Madness, but most filtered to coaches, new stadiums and gyms and maintained the work of the rest of the university’s athletics department.

“I must be happy to have some money in my pocket,” said the Duke’s bodyguard, Trevor Kills, over the weekend.

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

Bypasses, this is happening anyway, as donors and others who pump money into sports programs are now transferring some of the money to “collectives” with the school’s brand that create sponsorship opportunities for athletes.

A workaround seems to be acceptable enough for now. But the NCAA has ceded all control over it, depending on state laws, school oversight and, perhaps, a possible federal law that will regulate it all.

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

According to the current confusion of rules, there is very little public information about who does what and who pays the bills. The concept of millions of dollars hovering around with zero transparency does not seem to anyone to be the best business model for a sport full of athletes in their teens and early 20s.

“One of my biggest concerns isn’t even that players run campaigns or get paid,” said Barbara Jones of Outshine Talent. “It’s about them giving or promising too much without even realizing it.”

Another topic is gender inequality. The Congress held hearings on this issue during the tournament. Last year, differences in the way men’s and women’s games were treated were contained in a video made by Sedona Prince of Oregon about the weight-bearing salad at the women’s tournament.

The NCAA hired a working group and the panel made recommendations. Most of the changes looked like shop windows. They included adding four teams to increase the women’s rankings to 68, changing the women’s final from Tuesday to Sunday and putting the “March Madness” brand on the women’s tournament next to the men’s.

Meanwhile, the NCAA still has a very underrated media contract for women, the details of which give the NCAA a picture of a voiceless bureaucracy that does not change over time. The shortcomings are all the more tangible because this is the 50th anniversary of the ICS law, which is designed to create equal opportunities for women in sports.

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

Elsewhere, the new transfer rule is an attempt to correct one of the biggest hypocrisies in the sport – namely, that coaches could move to the best bidder without restrictions, but players were not given the same freedom. Now they are, but when combined with NIL, it threatens to create a kind of free agency system, as many in the college game would like to avoid.

Complicated and inefficient regulations also made the NCAA look like it was stuck in concrete.

Emmert almost admitted that the fixes for establishing an independent committee were not working well. One of the consequences is that he came to New Orleans with the prospect of handing over the title trophy to coach Bill Self, whose program in Kansas has been tainted by a complex, half-decade-old investigation that still threatens the future of the Jayhawks.

“It’s common knowledge,” Self said. “We have been dealing with some things off the field for some time.

Like most schools in trouble, the Kansas problems are focused on recruiting top talent, leading back to NCAA’s longest-running problem – the “One and Done” rule that allows players to drop out of school after a year of college.

Emert’s worn-out avoidance of that rule is that it is a technical part of NBA collective bargaining, so what should the NCAA do? But when it comes to teasing details and how they affect the college game, Krzizevski said he has had more contact with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver over the years than anyone from the NCAA office.

As Krzizevski leaves coaching in the rearview mirror, he is surprised at how many decisions are made by NCAA committees and committees that do not deal with day-to-day issues.

I would like to see a less centralized NCAA – one that allows men’s basketball to decide on its own problems, and perhaps with women’s hoops and all other sports.

Whether the new model looks something like what Krzizevski imagines, or something else, there is a growing sense that big changes are ahead for college sports.

“Everything you do, or whatever you do, never remains just the status quo,” Self said. “We have to keep evolving.”

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