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  1. #1

    Default WSJ: David West is trying to launch Historical Basketball League, alternative to NCAA

    per the Wall Street Journal:

    As a star basketball player at Xavier University in the early 2000s, David West never questioned the NCAA’s amateurism model. Then he got to the NBA and began reading more about the revenues generated by the NCAA tournament, which now exceed $1 billion annually.

    “I started to understand,” West said, “the only difference between college sports and professional sports is the college kids aren’t getting paid.”

    That is something West, now 38 years old and retired from the NBA, is working to change. He recently became chief operating officer of a nascent outfit called the Historical Basketball League, which is recruiting top high school players for a summer season that would begin in 2020.

    The HBL promises player salaries ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 and a full college scholarship. The players would forgo NCAA basketball and instead join one of 12 inaugural teams—cities will be chosen from an initial pool of 20, depending on where the league can attract investors. They would be able to choose a nearby college or vocational school, provided they are offered admission on their own academic merits.

    It is essentially an attempt to untether college basketball from colleges and, in doing so, disrupt the economic model for student-athletes. The HBL’s website cites the “staggering injustice” of college sports and states that “amateurism is a con.” That sentiment became more widespread last week following the injury of Duke star Zion Williamson after his Nike sneaker ripped and tore apart.

    “We need to create something fair,” West said in an interview.

    Whether the HBL can do that largely hinges on its ability to generate revenue, which will in part require finding a media partner to buy distribution rights to its games. Andy Schwarz, an HBL co-founder, said it has had early-stage talks with several streaming services. But to attract such a partner, he said the league needs to secure commitments from at least a few of the top 15 or so high school players in the country.

    To attract those star players, the league needs to demonstrate that it has the funding to guarantee salaries for at least its inaugural season. Schwarz said the league needs $30 million to $40 million to ensure that it can launch in 2020.

    “If we are making an offer to an athlete, there has to be a league ready to go,” Schwarz said.

    An NCAA spokeswoman declined to comment.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-thi...rs-11551120224

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    Will be easy.
    Since the ncaa is such a bad deal for players, everyone will want to do it.
    Since the players are what bring revenue, not the institutions, all that money will flow right to them.

  3. #3

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    Destined for failure

  4. #4

    Default WSJ: David West is trying to launch Historical Basketball League, alternative to NCAA

    Stupid idea. Are they going to have insurance on all players for injuries? The college scholarship sounds good on the surface, but how many players can get into the better schools without the help of the athletic department (just as it is tough for any student)? Also, compare a D1 college facilities, strength training, player development, nutrition, room and board, tutors, consulars, swag to what one of these teams offer.

    The NCAA is not making a billion $’s! They are talking about the total revenue, which is before all of the expenses and payments to the schools, etc...


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Some guy View Post
    Will be easy.
    Since the ncaa is such a bad deal for players, everyone will want to do it.
    Since the players are what bring revenue, not the institutions, all that money will flow right to them.
    I see what you did there and I like it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post

    It is essentially an attempt to untether college basketball from colleges and, in doing so, disrupt the economic model for student-athletes.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-thi...rs-11551120224

    Go Gophers!!
    I agree with this model in principle but I have doubts that it will succeed in the USA. This is the model that is used most other places around the world but, for some reason, the USA long ago decided to attach high level sports to colleges and universities. Doing so has been a mixed bag for both athletes and institutions but that has become so much part of our culture that I have strong doubts that a league like this could succeed as long as universities continue to play in the big time sports arena.

  7. #7

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    I really hope this is as altruistic as David West says it is. Because the problem the whole time is that someone is making money off young athletes? Right now the universities are making money although much of it is redirected to facilities and most importantly opportunities for non-revenue sport athletes. Now maybe David West is running a non-profit here, but if that is not the case then I would rather have the money with the institutions.

  8. #8

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    Love it! I enjoy watching this ideas attempt to come to fruition (and ultimately fail) because it keeps proving the point that trying to operate a paid-player league that competes with the NCAA is not a viable business model. And as long as athletes keep fighting tooth-and-nail to be awarded an athletic scholarship, the nonsense about "injustice" and "exploitation" and other buzzwords continues to ring hollow as the BS that it is.

  9. #9

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    NCAA or colleges are never going to allow this to happen, they are too dependent on the revenues of the sport.

    I am starting to think that athletics as they currently exist really don't belong in a collegiate setting outside of the division III model.

  10. #10

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    The problem with this and all models that try to eliminate the NCAA is that they are set up for the relatively small percentage of players who actually have a future playing basketball for money. My guess is 98% or so of scholarship players at D-1 never get a whiff of playing for money. The system is not a rip off to them. None of these models have a chance at generating the kind of revenue the NCAA tournament generates, no matter who is playing in it. If they want to create a minor league that players with pro futures can choose, more power to them. I know I won't be watching them any more than I watch the St. Paul Saints (about once every two years). I don't think a lot of others will either.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodburyTim View Post
    I really hope this is as altruistic as David West says it is. Because the problem the whole time is that someone is making money off young athletes? Right now the universities are making money although much of it is redirected to facilities and most importantly opportunities for non-revenue sport athletes. Now maybe David West is running a non-profit here, but if that is not the case then I would rather have the money with the institutions.
    David could do pretty well even if it were a non-profit. His salary for running the program would just be fixed and not dependent on the revenue generated by the league.

    I too would rather see the excess paying for sports that can't pay for themselves.

  12. #12

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    It will be tough to gain an audience for this league.
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  13. #13

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    At some point the current model will change, it just has to. Universities crying poor when they are taking in over $100 million in revenue just won't cut it. Minnesota is paying over $4 million in coaches salary to the coaches, somehow there has to be a way to pay more than scholarship, room & board & stipend to revenue sport "Student" Athletes.

    I don't know if it will be via court case, other league competition or because it's just the right thing to do, but it will change. The excuse that they have to fund non-revenue sports to me is just that, an excuse.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ope3 View Post
    Universities crying poor when they are taking in over $100 million in revenue just won't cut it.
    Why are you only looking at the revenue side? Why aren't you looking at the expense side? It is enormously expensive to run a major Division I athletics program. I imagine you'd be living quite comfortably if you had no mortgage, food, clothing, car, utilities, entertainment, etc., etc., etc. to pay for. Unfortunately, you have to pay those bills and so do universities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ope3 View Post
    The excuse that they have to fund non-revenue sports to me is just that, an excuse.
    It's not an excuse, it's the law.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpodoll68 View Post
    Why are you only looking at the revenue side? Why aren't you looking at the expense side? It is enormously expensive to run a major Division I athletics program. I imagine you'd be living quite comfortably if you had no mortgage, food, clothing, car, utilities, entertainment, etc., etc., etc. to pay for. Unfortunately, you have to pay those bills and so do universities.



    It's not an excuse, it's the law.
    There is no law that requires the Univeristy of Minnesota to field a Men's Swimming Team (just as an example, not picking on Swimmers) much less require them to offer scholarships.

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