By Ken Reed
The NBA has a rule that prevents high school basketball players — no matter how talented — from jumping to the NBA after high school. So, most top players go to college for a year or two.
However, that can be a risky proposition for college basketball stars because of an NCAA rule that prevents NCAA athletes and their families from taking out a loan to pay for “loss of value” insurance. If a top college basketball player chooses to get a loan from a third party to help pay for “loss of value” insurance, based on potential future NBA earnings, he would be violating NCAA rules regarding accepting extra benefits beyond an athletic scholarship.
“How many of those families have access without loans to pay for one of the premiums of these policies that could be six figures?” said Warren K. Zola, an assistant dean at Boston College’s business school and a counselor for athletes pursuing professional careers. “They go to college and the NCAA decides were not going to allow you the capacity to fully insure your potential earnings because that’s an extra benefit. And once again, student-athletes have no union, have no advocates, and everyone just goes along in the commercialism of college athletics saying it’s O.K.”
Paul H. Haagen, co-director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy at Duke University believes the NCAA rule is hypocritical given the NCAA’s stance on protecting the best interests of student-athletes.
These particular NBA and NCAA rules recently came under the spotlight when the University of Kentucky’s center Nerlens Noel, expected by many to be the number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft, tore an ACL and is out indefinitely, his future prospects in question.
Noel’s injury, and his lack of “loss of value” insurance, may have cost him millions of dollars in professional basketball earnings. He’s left to decide whether to stay at Kentucky and rehabilitate his knee or enter the NBA draft and hope his stock hasn’t decreased substantially.
“I think we need to be having these debates in talking about the welfare of student-athletes,” said Zola. “Noel is just another shining example of how that gets ignored.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon