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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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