Well his family needed the money
With the NBA draft upon us the stories of hardship and why this player or this player is declaring will now be told. I’m not an unrealistic person by no means. I fully understand if the money is there you have to take it, but if I hear one more story about a ball player declaring for the draft because his family needs the money I’m going to puke.
What about the kid? Why is the financial weight of his family now on his shoulders? Why does he now have to sacrifice his future so his family can drive BMW’s and wear a pound of gold on their necks? Most of you that post here understand the value of money and what it means. Yes these kids collect millions of dollars for a few years of basketball. Yet after they pay their taxes, agents, and handlers, what are they left with? With a fraction of the money they signed for and no idea what to do with it. What happens when they don’t make it? We all know money can and does run out.
Do you realize that a person making a 100k a year will gross 3 million in 30 years? At 200k a year that number grows to 6 million in 30 years. Are you seeing where I’m going with this? Is earning 10 million (before taxes and other costs) in 4 years better than earning a lifestyle that can give you the same money but so much more?
To many times a player, a college kid is forced to make a decision based off of money instead of what’s really best for him. How many kids chased the money and ended up with nothing? Not everybody can be a James, Bryant, Jordon, Magic, Bird, Duncan, and so on. However a lot of kids can have a degree to depend on if their basketball skills aren’t good enough.
More times than not a player declares for the NBA draft when they have no business doing so. The NBA draft has gone from solid college players that are seasoned veterans to players that have nothing but potential. Every year it seems the number of the one and done increases. Did I miss something here? Has there been an evolution in High School basketball players that they can now just pass college and enter the NBA game?
I would love to blame the kids but I can’t. If the money is there they have no choice. If the NBA and the players union really care then they need to change some things. This whole one and done or two and done is just dumb. Dump the whole idea. Don’t infringe on the right of a young man to work. (I bet your wondering were I’m going with this) However put a lower amount of pay you can receive for your first or second years of play. Let your 3rd year be the money year. Maybe I’m wrong but this current system isn’t working. To many kids are losing out on a college education chasing the very thing that education would give them.
What are your thoughts? Am I an old man past his time, or do I make a valid point?
icthawkfan316 last edited by icthawkfan316
@DoubleDD I like a few of your points, but here are some that I disagree with or take issue with:
- “Do you realize that a person making a 100k a year will gross 3 million in 30 years? At 200k a year that number grows to 6 million in 30 years. Are you seeing where I’m going with this? Is earning 10 million (before taxes and other costs) in 4 years better than earning a lifestyle that can give you the same money but so much more?”
Here you act like a college degree guarantees a 100k or 200k per year salary. I don’t know the statistics, but it seems like a college degree isn’t what it used to be. I don’t have a degree although I went to college, and I work with a lot of people doing the same job who have a degree. And trust me, we aren’t raking in 100k! And let’s face it, the degrees that the kids you’re talking about are working towards, the kids declaring for the draft, those aren’t exactly the Matt Kleinsman architecture degrees or Tyrel Reed physical therapy degrees. Communications, African-American studies, general studies, etc. These aren’t guaranteed paycheck degrees by any stretch. There’s also the “clustering” phenomena, which is basically athletes being directed toward and grouped together by the university into certain disciplines that allow them the freedom to also play college hoops. So while it is honorable to attain a degree (I wish I did), we shouldn’t pretend that it’s the road to the same money and a better lifestyle than just one guaranteed rookie contract.
- “More times than not a player declares for the NBA draft when they have no business doing so.”
It depends on what you mean by them having no business doing so. Sure there are examples that spring to mind of players who tried and failed - Josh Selby, locally (Wichita) Korleone Young about 15 years or so - but if you can land in the first round and get that guaranteed contract, I think it’s a wise idea. At KU I can only think of one other time (besides Selby) that a player declared early and then didn’t land in the first round with a guaranteed contract, and that is Mario Chalmers who went in the second round. And that’s worked out not too bad for him. I know that using only KU players as a sample is not ideal, but it’s what I can speak intelligently about. I would have to look at the numbers of kids who declare for the draft annually, but unless the numbers are more than double the number of NBA teams, it seems inaccurate to say “more times than not”. If half or more of the kids declaring for the draft end up with guaranteed contracts, I’d say they had business doing so.
- “How many kids chased the money and ended up with nothing?”
I don’t know. Is it a lot? Do you have some examples to point to? We hear a lot about athletes in all sports who played professionally but squandered their riches, but is this because they weren’t ready to play at that level or because they lived a lifestyle beyond their means? I would guess the latter (for some reason former St. Louis Cardinal slugger Jack Clark always springs to mind), and that really has nothing to do with the current system. I also think a lot of the cases we hear about are older players from past generations when the contracts were not as lavish as they are now.
- “However a lot of kids can have a degree to depend on if their basketball skills aren’t good enough.”
Here my issue is that you’ve created an either/or scenario, in that kids can either choose to declare for the NBA or pursue their degree. Kids can still work on their degree and play professional basketball. We’re seeing it now with Ben McLemore.
- “However put a lower amount of pay you can receive for your first or second years of play. Let your 3rd year be the money year.”
I’m not sure what changing the structure of a guaranteed contract would accomplish. Assuming the third year is still guaranteed, I don’t see this as much of a deterrent.
Selfishly, I agree that the system is not working to the benefit of the fans. The rash of players leaving early has depleted the talent pool of both the NBA and the college game. But it’s like you say: if the money is there…
As for the players themselves and their money, I think better education from the leagues (in all sports) is key to them not squandering money. I know both the NBA and NFL have programs in place that attempt to educate their players about the pitfalls of their new-found wealth.
[ @icthawkfan316 – I’m thinking you pretty much disagree with every thing I posted. Which is cool. Maybe I don’t see the light. I guess a college education is worthless when compared to grabbing that first round money. Oh wait how many kids can be grabbed in the first round? You also seem to think that second round picks do alright? In fact from you post is seems you believe that just getting drafted guarantees financially success for the rest of their lives?
I guess your right an education is worthless money wise.
Also when referring to the third year I was speaking in that would be when they can sign their first real contract. However this all seems pointless as it’s all about just getting what you can financially, because if you can get first round money will then your set for life. I guess?
@DoubleDD Actually I pretty much restricted my comments to players who were drafted in the first round, hence my repeated mention of guaranteed contracts. I made one reference to a second round draft choice. One. And that was Mario Chalmers.
Again, I will redirect you to the point that you seem to be missing, and that is that a career as a professional basketball player and a college education are not mutually exclusive. Why begrudge a person a chance to play basketball when that window is very small, whereas the opportunity to earn a degree is pretty much open for life?
Not sure what your link was supposed to prove. Yes, athletes lose millions. But is that because they weren’t ready to play basketball for a living, or is it because they made poor lifestyle choices? Do you think a college education precludes you from making bad lifestyle choices?
And no, I didn’t disagree with everything you said. I particularly liked your first bit about kids supporting their families. Players supporting more than themselves (usually in the form of their friends/posse/entourage) is a major reason why many athletes go broke. But I guess I did nitpick my way through your post, as it seemed to not have a clear direction, except to say…stay in school, you’ll do better…?
Every man has to make his own choices. And hindsight is 20/20. I feel a lotto-pick should go, as that is the rarest of opportunity for the top15 or so players, money-wise. But it can rightly be debated that if a kid stays another year and becomes even better, he could/would/should still go lottery, or even work his way into the 1st round. Of course Josh Selby is in this category. I’ve posted in the past, that the smartest business move Selby could have made, was to show his future prospective employers’ scouts that he was healthy, and averaging 15+ppg, and showing off his explosive athleticism (once healthy). Use the free publicity of all the TV exposure that a royalty program gets. But he didnt, choosing the bird in hand, instead of 2 in the bush. Here’s the confounding fact on Selby: He did get drafted in the 2nd round, I believe, and put up some astonishing numbers in the D-league that summer after KU’s VCU loss. I think he was the MVP of the D-league that season, avg’ing 25+ppg, I think. Then I heard he was playing ball overseas in China, maybe the money was better than the D-league? I know his situation in Baltimore was absolutely desperate…but I think he should have come back to KU, purely because his first season only tarnished his stock, and he needed to answer the doubts.
A ‘forced’ extra season for Brandon Rush actually did positive things for Rush, as he answered all doubts about his knee, and his ability to “go left”. Dropping 25pts in a Final4 game vs. UNC made him a PTP’er, while that game conversely ‘exposed’ Tyler Hansbrough (who wisely came back to UNC for his final season). Rush then dogged Chris Douglas-Roberts all over the gym in the 08Champ game, an effort that kept KU around in the 2nd half, allowing that timeless comeback to force OT.
Julian Wright is a curious case of a kid going lotto, who simply was not developed enough as a player. He got exposed. Russell Robinson’s quote was very revealing: “…well, with Ju, you never really knew what he was going to do with the ball…”. He led the team in turnovers in the 06-07 season. That category was completely fixed when Ju left, as the 07-08ChampHawks were incredibly efficient in most games, and we have missed those A:T stats ever since. So, from a on court decision-making standpoint, physical maturation, and development of a face-up jumper & shooting range, Julian Wright would have been better served staying at KU, from a basketball standpoint. Now, of course, he has a strong interest and talent in music production, and is out of the NBA, and is seemingly happily busy in his music career. He used his lotto $ to segue into his post-player career, which is very interesting considering the raw basketball talent he had. I’m actually not saying the case of Julian Wright is a negative (for him), but his name will be included in the statistical wayside of those lotto picks who didnt “stick” in the NBA.
Xavier Henry, to his credit, played decent when the Lakers gave him the opportunity…but that franchise is in an upheaval right now, so not sure how things will play out for Xavier…I hope he sticks, as he would be pointed at as a success story from KU…
@icthawkfan316 – I would never begrudge a person a chance to earn or make money. This is why I said that the whole one and done or two and done is just dumb. I also believe if the money is there then the kids have no choice to take it. These things I totally agree with. However as the odds show just because these kids get the money doesn’t mean they make it in life.
No a college education does not guarantee wealth, but it does increase your chances, it opens up doors that couldn’t otherwise be opened, and mostly importantly it boasts your confidence in who you are.
I’m sorry the NBA draft is full broken dreams. These kids grow up being told they are the best and that they’re going to make it their whole life. What do they do when they don’t make it? Most of the money they made with the first round contract is gone. You can’t expect these kids to make savvy decisions with their money.
I guess my point is I get the feeling some of these kids just want to stay in school and enjoy the college experience. Yet they are bombarded by their families, agents, media, and fans to get the money. Got to go get the money, Got to go get the money. You know what? If they are indeed any good they’re going to get the money. So why not get an education to back up that money? It’s not such a bad thing. I would speculate that when breaking down the odds. You have a greater chance of taking the money and losing it all and having nothing to show for the journey, then you do coming back and getting an education and risking an injure or falling on the draft board.
Ah maybe I’m just getting old, and my thoughts on education and hard work are just from another time period.
@DoubleDD …Actually, discounting the current economic conditions, education and hard work are from a bygone era. I mean who in their right mind thinks somebody screwing up your order at McDonald’s deserves $15/hr?
@DoubleDD I do agree with your sentiment about the kids that feel pressured to go before they’d like (Embiid seems to be a classic example). I mean, what life could possibly be better than a star basketball player in a town like Lawrence?
I guess where the disconnect comes from a few things:
The money made by a rookie contract versus that of a college education. You talk about 3 million over 30 years (which again, assumes a $100k year salary average that is highly doubtful given the degrees athletes typically are working towards and/or eventually attain). That’s not the “same money” as a rookie contract. Maybe you’ve moved off this since your initial post, but to try and convince a kid that is a lock for the first round that he should stay in school based on your logic that he can make $3 million over 30 years is a tough sell.
So let’s say the kid who signed the rookie contract also made 3 million (this is a close average of all the first round contracts, and assuming casting aside the third year team option) in 2 years. To me this is a simple case of doing the math. The kid has made as much in 2 years as he would in 30 (again, based on your initial example), and now has an additional 28 years to build upon that total. Now he can go back to school, and everything earned after is gravy.
To put it another way, what if we weren’t talking about basketball. What if we were talking about some kid in a computer science discipline that after a year or two showed such promise that Apple was offering him a salary for 2 years that would otherwise take him 30 years to make? Would we be talking about how he should stay in school and how if he doesn’t it’s because the concept of “hard work” is from another time?
I agree that having a college degree is a worthwhile endeavor. My point all along has been that you can get that degree at any time. After your playing days, during your playing days, etc. But the window to play professional basketball is not something that will always be there.
JayhawkRock78 last edited by
It is too bad many of these top athletes are in a situation where they have to leave early and take the money (and they should). I wish they could have more years on campus at KU to enjoy those magical years—they were the best.
Even so, with a degree and hard work it took a long time to get to 100k/year income. I know lot of people with a degree who still aren’t making that much. And I know a ku athlete who had a full ride-blew off school-didn’t get a degree-and lives near the poverty line. We all live with our choices.
My best scenario is an escrow account be set up by the NBA while the top kids spend two years in school that gives them a JR college equivalent degree. If they don’t make it they at least have something to build on.
Here is an idea…
NBA: Let kids go right from HS into the NBA.
NCAA: Give kids 10 years to finish 4 years of eligibility… and let them keep their eligibility even if they’ve been paid to play (pro). And no sit out period when they return or if they go to a different university.
So… let’s say a Wiggins decided to play 1 year in college, just to lift his stock… then goes pro and has a hard time and gets cut. He can go back and play 3 more years of college ball and earn a degree, and improve his bball skills again and earn another look in the pros.
Why do we have all the tight rules on young people? This is America… and it should have little restriction for anyone to make a living and/or advance their studies and likelihood of making a living.
There is a long list of student/athletes that failed with their one shot… and they can’t go backwards and get another crack. What a crock! Reduce the rules and help young, talented people get as much of a chance for success as possible!
And imagine what this would do to the talent level of college sports?
JayhawkRock78 last edited by
Something to consider. If a guy does become a big stud and plays six years-I’d say they can’t go back-it wouldn’t be fair to the kids on the ncaa courts. I like your idea if a kid never makes it though.
@icthawkfan316 – What good does it to make all that money in such a short time only to lose it all? I mean ask yourself who has it better in life. The person that made a bunch of money in a short time and lost it all or the person that worked at their craft and climbed the ladder of financial success learning valuable lessons a long the way. Like how to keep their money and making it work for them.
Money doesn’t guarantee financial success. It’s the whole pipe dream of he poor. If I can just get my hands on some money, or if I can just win the lotto everything will be alright, I’ll be set for life. I’m telling you it’s a pipe dream. Sure some make it, but the odds of a person who has never had that much cash is going to lose it. Money can be gained or lost, but an education can never be taken away.
And I tell you another thing this whole concept that money is more important than education is killing the college game.
@drgnslayr – I’m on board. Anything better than what we have going now.
@brooksmd --LOL, Don’t get me started
@DoubleDD So if I’m to understand your premise, it’s that you assume players will lose the money they make from their first contract. Am I understanding that correctly? I’m drawing this conclusion from your “what good does it…only to lose it all?” question, and later from your “the odds of a person…” declarative statement.
Your “ask yourself” scenario precludes only two possible scenarios, one in which conveniently suits your narrative. Obviously anyone who loses all their money is in the worse situation. You haven’t provided any data or facts to back up your statement that “the odds of a person who has never had that much cash is going to lose it.” Gut instinct? Intuition? You provided a link with a few examples of NBA players who lost their money. The funny thing is, those aren’t the players that you’re really talking about. Those were guys that “made it”, that got a second (or a third) contract in the NBA. Their basketball skills were enough, they had every business declaring for the draft. And did you check how many of them had degrees? Scottie Pippen for example was on the list. He played all 4 years of college ball. Latrell Sprewell, Derrick Coleman, Vin Baker, Rick Mahorn…all players on the list that went to college for 4 years. Their education didn’t stop them from making bad decisions. They have it to fall back on though, which I’m sure is a huge comfort to them.
It just seems like the only thing you’re advocating is staying in school because you think it is a better path to financial success. Either that, or just not giving the players so much money because you think they’ll blow it. I guess we should just let the billionaire owners keep it huh?
True… but the kid that gets bumped by the older player also has 10 years to complete his eligibility. And he can always go to another school. Plus… the young kid may go overseas for a year or two and line his pockets, then come back to college and finish his degree.
The idea is to give talented players a big window to finish their education. Plus… anyone playing D1 ball always has NBA scouts looking on.
@icthawkfan316 – Well my friend keep buying those lotto tickets, maybe you too will hit the lotto. I have provided that 60% of all NBA drafts picks lose everything they earned. Prove me otherwise. Where is your link?
I don’t have to think they’ll blow it. The odds show that they will, and it’s just not NBA players. It’s anybody that comes into large amounts of money. There is plenty of information and facts to prove so. There is no reason for me to provide countless links to prove my point. I guess what I’m saying is do your own homework. Just like the persons that win the lotto. It is proven that almost all lose the money they win. No sir a pile of cash does not any shape or form solve your financial problems. Well unless you know what to do with that money. Like I said a pile of cash lasts but for a season but and education can and does last a life time.
I see we are at odds here. So here is my olive branch you take the cash and I’ll take the education. Fair enough?
@DoubleDD My mistake. I failed to see in the article from the link you provided stated the 60% figure. I simply scrolled to the examples due to the title of the article.
I still think much of your premise is misguided, as again I point to your original statement about $100k/year jobs. You asked for a link, so here’s mine:
$45k/year. That’s the average salary for a college graduate, which is less than half of your $100k/year example.
You also seem to think that I am bagging getting an education. That’s not the case. My point, repeatedly and without answer, has been that you can always get that education. You can always go back. It’s not reserved for athletes you know? You are really never at risk for that being unavailable.
You are, however, at risk to lose money by not going pro when the system & structure say you should. That might not be fair, but you hit on something in your initial post that rings true, and that is that the NBA drafts on potential. Teams are so afraid of missing out on the next Lebron, Kobe, etc. The longer kids stay in the college game, the less they are being drafted on potential and the more they are a known quantity. So more times than not the player with potential will be drafted ahead of the known quantity. If this was not the case, Doug McDermott would be the hands down #1 pick, right? He has had the most success (individually) at the college level. But teams know what he can do, where as Wiggins, Embiid, Parker, etc. there is the potential that they can do better than McDermott. So if I was an advisor, would I tell Wiggins to come back for 3 years and finish his degree or would I tell him to turn pro and be one of the top 3 picks? I would tell him to go pro.
And all of this talk about not going pro when the system says you are supposed to does nothing to address the risk of injury. Is it as great a risk of losing all your rookie money? No, but it’s a risk nonetheless.
Something else I’ve advocated here is that you try and fix the problem. Education about how to spend their money; about how to say “no” to everybody from their past with their hands out. Use some of these broke former players. Have them come in and try and hammer the reality home. Even the link you provided offered the same advice: “If you’re a student athlete with pro potential, “Financial Analysis 101″ & “Child Support 101A” should be required classes.” This is the kind of education that I think we should focus on.
After all this I feel we may indeed remain at odds. Regarding your olive branch I will say this: deal. And tomorrow I’ll use some of that cash to enroll in classes to finish my degree. Because, again, I can always go back.
P.S. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket in my life. Poor tax as I call it.
MoonwalkMafia last edited by
“I guess your right an education is worthless money wise.”
Ugh. Statements like this make me cringe. You’re not helping your argument…
I don’t understand the point of this thread. To discourage someone from making $1 million+ per year while he/she can is ludicrous. Just because “60% of all draft picks lose everything they earned,” is no reason for someone else to follow in that same trend. To do well in life, you have to be willing to do what most won’t.
Without seeing the amounts lost and the reasons for the losses, how anyone can make that conclusion is beyond me. Did they make bad investments or did they blow money–like Derrick Thomas, Jack Carter, or Mike Tyson?
The 60% number referred to probably included many who simply had a bad lifestyle. Many–and maybe most–of those would not be any different after four years of college. Lifestyles should have been developing many years before the kid came to college.
One of the best–or worst–examples I can think of is Naadir Tharpe. Having a child before he got out of high school was the result of a bad lifestyle. That severely limited his choices for the rest of his life. Could also have destroyed or limited the possibility to make decent income playing basketball overseas.
I’m with ict on this one.
REHawk last edited by
@DoubleDD If your argument should include recent one and done KU players Wiggins and Embiid, do you have any idea the scope of their earnings over the next 3 years of guaranteed NBA money and additional income from commercialization of their names and games? If so, do you REALLY think those two young men will succumb to penniless lives long after their sports careers have ended? Or that their personal development will be tarnished, even if they never earn another hour of college? Yeah, I think that, in general, your thesis includes sound points. It is a shame that Selby, McLemore, even 3 year player Aldrich felt the urgency to depart in order to help their families; Selby, esp., as he had little in the way of “guaranteed” professional income. Aldrich has returned to KU to finish his degree, and McLemore appears to be following the same track. The two of them are blessed with guaranteed income which not only has offered their families financial stability, but has given the two of them flexibility to spend their offseasons in pursuit of degrees. I’m a guy who earned a pair of college degrees and several hours beyond my masters. I don’t regret my decision to earn those degrees or to enter the field of public education. But for several years my family of four existed on an income barely above the poverty level. Our daughter chose to homeschool her five children, all of whom have eschewed college educations in lieu of entering the workforce. They all are thriving, two of them already in management positions. I feel that too much can be made of the value of college educations and the necessity for degrees. HA! I see my thesis bouncing to and fro, similar to yours. Enough said.
I think the discussion here has become a bit frayed… so the points made have lost some of their perspective.
Everyone in here has good points. That makes it a tough battle to fight and win.
I agree with those who advise going for the money, because it is available right now and may not be tomorrow… and it tends to be a pretty good sum of money, though, usually, not enough to retire on (in most cases).
But… I respect @DoubleDD 's argument supporting education. Diplomas do not guarantee a person will make more money or even be able to make a decent living… especially these days. However… having an education helps most people in several way, often beyond financial. For one thing, obtaining a diploma is a major achievement, that many never accomplish. It should help one’s self-esteem. Obtaining a diploma takes some level of discipline, some level of focus, some level of study and some level of creativity. Exercising oneself in those areas should help build the character of an individual.
If you have obtained a diploma and you honestly come on here and tell us it wasn’t worth it, then you should examine back on your college days to see what went wrong.
And as a society, we should always encourage education for the masses. It does our society good to educate as many people as possible.
I used to always support the student-athlete staying in school instead of jumping early. But… there are so many that leave early now and go back and finish their degrees because the schools have created a structure which encourages it.
I laud Bill Self, not only as one of the best college basketball coaches, but for the fact that he instills the value in education to all his players. Because of that reason, it is no surprise that many of his players come back and finish up. Hooray for players like Aldrich!
I think the discussion here should turn towards school (and coaches) that have poor stats on players finishing school. That is where the problem is.
Anyone have a link that shows the stats on many of the college programs (coaches) out there? I want to know… for example… how many of Cal’s players end up finishing their degrees?
@drgnslayr you have made some good points. However, you seem to assume that college is for everyone. If true, I disagree with that premise. There are many kids with learning difficulties that should not go to college.
I have a friend whose daughter is a 2014 college grad. She had learning difficulties all through school. But she had a physician father and pharmacist mother who spent countless hours helping her. Many–probably most–of the kids being recruited for D1 basketball don’t have that kind of support. There are probably many who don’t know who their father is.
One other comment. It seems that most of the commenters on this board think that Josh Selby has been a total bust. I think that for the most part, he has gotten a bum rap. Most people–including me–have no concept of what life is like for these kids who have lived in poverty and filthy apartment buildings their whole life.
Besides, according to http://m.bkref.com/m?p=XXplayersXXsXXselbyjo01.html&t=15 Selby made more than $1.3 million by the time he was.23 years old. I wouldn’t call that chump change. I’m glad no one wrote me off at age 23.
It seems my case isn’t gaining much support.
That’s ok I didn’t really expect it too. However let me try to clarify my point.
- If the money is there then you have to take it. It’s a no brainer.
My point: A lot of kids are forced to chase the money when a few more years in college would do wonders for the their lives and career. Sometimes taking that first pile of cash cost you more in the long run. Meaning just because you’re drafted in the top ten doesn’t mean you ready to play at the NBA level. There are only 5 spots on the floor. So if you’re not good enough to crack that starting five or first man of the bench, then you really hurt yourself long term. The NBA game doesn’t leave much time for a player to expand their game, with the amount of games and the travel. I think we can all agree that there are players that could’ve benefited with a few more years in the college game. Keep in mind very few make it. This is not an opinion but a fact. It can’t be debated.
- Over 60% of NBA players leave the game broke.
My point: This is more than just a percentage but a trend. Also it is not exclusive to the NBA players. Yes there are those that buck the trend and make it, however this is not the norm. This concept hey you got the money your good to go is a fallacy. Just because you get drafted doesn’t mean you’ve made it. This trend can’t be ignored or debated. It is fact.
- Money isn’t every thing.
When a person depends on their physical and athletic ability to make a living. There is a danger of losing it all. They are one injury away from losing it all. There is also the possibility of just not being good enough. There is a reason the NBA has the best players in the world. Now chew on a few of these points that need to be made.
How long does an average career last? Exclude the superstars. What is the average pay for an average career? Not everybody gets a job in the game after they're done playing. Someone mentioned they could just go back to school. Ok ask the question how old will they be when they try to go back and get that degree? Why do some many NBA players go broke? What do they have to depend on when the money runs out?
You may not agree with me and that is fine, but these are valid questions to ask.
- An education is important.
My point: The most important thing about Education is it gives you staying power and the ability to sustain your lifestyle. An Education is versatility. It can open many doors for you. It takes dedication, hard work, and long nights to achieve. When all else fails you still have your education and that can get you a job. Some have said that education doesn’t make you rich. Ok I bet there are more rich people in the world with an education than not. The sports superstar millionaire is actually rare. I also bet that the average person with an education does better than the person that sold out and took the money and lost it all. Education is more than money even though it can lead to money. It a lifestyle. It prepares for life. It arms you with tools to succeed. It gives you understanding. It gives you opportunities. Again this can’t be debated. A person with an education on average does better than those that don’t. (even ball players)
In the end I think I make a strong case. However I understand the allure of money. If it’s there most people are going to chase it. Money is the master of all. Most of you have broke down and dissected my point which I deserve. However your blanket statements of look at how much money they will make doesn’t hold much water, if they leave the game broke. Just saying.
There are a lot of things that are in play here.
Value of a dollar
First, we have to think about the value of a dollar. For someone that is struggling - really struggling, not just living paycheck to paycheck, but in actual poverty - the value of that first contract is worth much more now than the potential for a bigger contract later. If you are in poverty, waiting a year to cash in on your talent is just unimaginable. If you live a semi-comfortable life, as I assume many of us on this board do, we can take that delayed gratification. However, the delay for someone in legitimate poverty means another year of their family not having enough to eat, being cold all winter, not having adequate transportation, etc.
Look at it a different way. Let’s say I announced that the first person to meet me at my office tomorrow morning would get $100. If you already have a job, that $100 offer is weighed against how convenient it is (or isn’t) for you to meet me, whether it is worth it to camp outside my office to be first in line, etc. But if you don’t have any food to eat, none of that would matter. You would be at my office in 10 minutes to spend the rest of the day and night so that you could get that $100 tomorrow morning. Nobody that is already in an okay position would change anything about their life to get that $100. But if you are already in a tough position, you would do whatever you could to get that money.
Earnings over time
I’ve covered this at length before. There is a very finite length to any athletic career. Few players will play past the age of 35. Almost all will be done by 38. Maybe a couple can hang on until 40. That means that an extra year in college at 22 could mean a year less at the end of your career. Given that every sports league has a salary scale for rookies, this means that you are subtracting from your larger earning years. I posted before that Kevin Garnett (May 19, 1976) made almost 2x the money that Rasheed Wallace (September 17, 1974) made in his career. The difference is so great because Garnett’s last contract paid him about $11m per year, while Wallace’s paid him about $1.5. The difference between being 36 (Garnett’s age when he started his current contract) and 38 (Wallace’s age when he started his final contract) is huge.
Losing the Money
What is the one thing that most athletes are told? To invest their money. Do you know how many athletes end up losing their fortunes? Those investments go bad.
Most of Bernie Madoff’s victims were either athletes or celebrities.
Simply put, the money that athletes make actually makes them a target for riskier investments that they probably would steer clear of if they didn’t have millions of dollars. And there’s no guarantee that spending more time in college would protect them from that. Investments fail every day. Smart people lose money on investments every day. How many times has Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy with one of his companies? How often have other companies liquidated their assets? It happens. Every failed restaurant, bar, nightclub, music label, vacation destination, time share, stock tip and other investment that athletes have used could just as easily catch a regular citizen, college or no.
Education guarantees success There is just nothing to support this idea. I know some people I went to college with that graduated that are absolutely struggling right now financially. They have a degree, but they also have mountains of debt from a credit card, or school loans, or a house, or a car, or whatever and that mountain is slowly crushing them financially. And these are only the ones that I know for a fact are struggling because I know their situation personally. From the outside, their life looks solid - nice house, nice car, solid job, etc. - but from the inside they are barely making it because they still owe money on some credit card bills from college, or a car loan they let go bad, or whatever it may be. Their college education has not gotten them out of financial trouble. They are literally one week of missed work away from financial disaster.
One ___ Away from losing it all Honestly, we are all one incident from losing it all. How many times have you heard about someone having a family illness, or a car accident, or something else happen, and lose it all? It happens. For most people, if they lost their job tomorrow, they would have only a few weeks to find a new job before they face significant financial ruin. An education can’t protect you from that.
@justanotherfan – I get and understand everything you’re saying. Yet we keep avoiding the big elephant in the room. Over 60% of all NBA players lose it all. Now are you ready to say that over 60% of all college graduates are failing financially? Now we can make excuses why these NBA players are going broke, as you did. So let me make a point. Maybe if they had an education they wouldn’t make such bad investments.
Like I said if the money is there these kids have to take it. I would never argue that point. I’m just raising the point, that in the long term is it really the best thing for them? What good does it to make all that money, when the trend shows you’re going to lose it all.
I will say you made a great point on years playing and losing money by staying in college. It was a point that I overlooked.
drgnslayr last edited by
You are right about that… college isn’t for everyone.
But… this is about D1… college basketball.
Heck… maybe we should have basketball leagues for trade schools! And what if colleges started offering another area of study (or areas) that are not quite so difficult and have an easier path for a diploma? There is something in place that is simpler… an associate degree.
So I’d be game for other ways for people to advance besides the typical 4-year degree. Any type of education, or trade schooling, is helpful for our society as a whole. And it helps give individuals more options to be successful.
How about universities (like KU) form relationships with trade schools and so anyone playing for Kansas could also opt to go to one of their connected partner schools and still have it paid for, just like they were attending Kansas directly?
How about universities (like KU) develop community service programs so anyone playing for Kansas could also opt to go to a community service program and gain valuable hands-on experience in a job with superior training?
There must be endless possibilities… if there were few rules and more insight into open-minded thinking.
@drgnslayr – I love it. Maybe have a curriculum just for athletes. Anything to help them capitalize on their potential and keep what they earn. Such as investing and so on. Also on how to deal with after the game has passed you by. You now there is a lot of ways to go with this. You’re correct the possibilities are endless.
I’ve read about lottery (as in powerball) winners who complain that the money has ruined their lives and they have not a penny left in a few years. Poor financial decisions are made by people who don’t earn their money. A 19 year old who is handed a huge contract by the NBA hasn’t earned anything. They think they have due to the hours of practice they have put in, but it’s not the same as nurturing a career to fruition. It takes the general populace many years (if ever) to amass enough money to retire. If I was handed 1 million dollars to do my job on year one I would’ve spent it all expecting the money to come that easy my whole career.
Lottery winners are typically poor at finances to begin with - who throws money at something with poorer odds than being struck by lightening multiple times. That being said my neighbor and father in law have both won the lotto. My neighbor spent the money on hospital bills (well spent). The other lost the house he partially paid for with his winnings and has nothing to show for it today. The difference is both kept their jobs and will have a steady income until retirement. Most NBA players didn’t go into fields of studies that pay particularly well; anyone looking for an African Studies major/under-water basket weaving major to come work for them?
If a basketball player genuinely worked hard to hone his craft it stands to reason he would be successful at another craft/job as well. If he is getting by on god given talent (like most) and doesn’t work as hard as say Andrew White III or Connor Frankamp they will fail at almost anything else they attempt. Not even a stock boy needs to be athletic. It wouldn’t hurt in construction or even in other physical fields, but those usually require cognitive skills that jocks don’t typically have to work on. Pass the athlete that can’t read or the football team may loose a game and not win state, because that’s looking out for the athlete (sarcasm font).
One thing the NBA could do is to allow all the under-19 players to go to the developmental league if they don’t want to go to college. During that time they not only would receive basketball training, they could be taught basic courses in finance and other subjects. The only viable option now is to go to college.
Raising the age limit to 20 to go to the NBA will only make the problem worse for some.
“they could be taught basic courses in finance”
I wonder if Self could bring in an investment guy to talk to his team? Is that legal with the NCAA?
It seems that could me made into a recruiting tool… “come to Kansas and protect your future!”
Even for the players that don’t go on to the NBA, what college student couldn’t use some help on handling their money right before going out to earn a living?
@DoubleDD I think your bringing attention to this is awesome. Definitely a complex issue. I think the biggest parameter outside of a kid’s own brain, is that all-important ‘trusted advice’. It could come from one or both parents, or another close family member.
Look, for example at a kid like Andrew Wiggins, who has both parents, both of whom were exceptional athletes, and his father even played professionally. I have a feeling that he is getting/will-be-getting much better advice than the usual OAD that bolts as soon as they can for the “money”. Josh Selby is a perfect example of another true #1 ranked OAD, who should actually have stayed from every logical 3rd person perspective…but like @justanotherfan put it so perfectly: he came from abject poverty, so a bird in hand simply could not be passed up for ‘potentially’ 2-in-the-bush. He chose to ignore the facts of his 1st college year. Most of that 1st year for Selby was NOT in his control, nor his fault. I think the whole nation and NBA scouts would all have agreed & understood why he could have chose to come back for a 2nd KU season. (Not to mention KU could have used a healthy Selby vs. KY). Now he is out of the NBA.
How many retirees are just barely getting by? 50%? 60%? 70%?
The truth is, most people are not set up to really truly enjoy retirement. How many people do you know that retired and then went back to work not because they wanted something to do, but because they needed the income? I know quite a few.
When pro athletes retire, they retire fairly early in life, so we are very aware when, five years later at the age of 38 (or 45 or whatever) they are close to financial ruin. But what about the people that work all their life and in the end have just barely enough money to cover their funeral bills? I’ve seen that happen more often than I’d like to admit. It’s a sad truth.
@jaybate 1.0 said it well on the other thread about deregulating D1. We are at a point where the haves and have nots gap has widened to a frightening extent, and the truth is that most people just do not earn enough to truly save for retirement regardless of education level.
If you look back at the number of bad investments made by athletes (and the failed businesses those represent) then you have to remember one thing - those aren’t just athletes that are losing jobs and income. And I bet some of those people are pushed to the brink financially when that happens as well.
Just look around at what happened when the recession hit. How many people had cars repossessed? Homes? Defaulted on credit cards? Filed for bankruptcy? The argument that this is something that only happens to athletes because they aren’t educated is fraught with error. There were plenty of educated people that lost it all when they suddenly were not working any more.
@drgnslayr When I said “basic,” I meant very basic–not investments. I meant taking a certain percentage of income off the top and putting it in a bank or other financial institution. Kids who have never had a job or who have lived at or near the poverty level think an investment is putting back money for next week’s meals or saving enough for the apartment rent. It’s unlikely they think–or care–about having enough money to last for a lifetime.
Crimsonorblue22 last edited by
@Wigs2 it would be interesting to see how past Jhawks are doing financially since or during NBA??? Quite a few are doing well! BMac is pleasantly surprising me w/all his community involved projects and going back to school!
@justanotherfan – Actually to be honest with you most of the retires that I know still get offers to come back and work. It’s almost comical to watch them play it like a fiddle. It’s amazing to see these aged persons demand what they want, and get it. I often ask them whey they go back? Do you need the money? Are times hard? Yet the answer is always the same, “Because I can”.
50%, 60% 70%? Well that depends what you call getting by. There is more to an education than money.
I never said that college was a bad thing. My argument is that college doesn’t mean that you are somehow shielded from financial troubles. In the very article you linked to it points out that 44% of recent college grads are underemployed. For them, having the degree was a huge investment that is currently not paying off the way it should. I’ve talked to a lot of these people and they are in trouble financially almost exclusively because their student loan debt is crushing them.
Again, I am not saying college is bad. I’m a college graduate myself. But had someone offered me a job making $100,000 per year (more than I make now) when I was a sophomore in college, I would have taken that job, even if I knew that in three years I would lose that job because I would have made enough money to pay for graduate school outright (meaning no student debt now) and still had enough money to live very comfortably during that time. And with the NBA, we aren’t talking $100,000. We’re talking 8-35 times that amount per year. There’s just no comparison.
@justanotherfan – You’ve raised some interesting points of view. Again I understand if the money is their the kids have to take it.
I guess the reason I’ve argued this point with you so hard is that the odds show that a kid with an education has a better chance of making it, than does a college super star taking the money.
I know you don’t mean it but man I have to tell you when rereading your comments a person could come to the conclusion that an education is pretty much worthless in your point of view. Like I said I know you don’t mean that, but be fair with me and reread you comments with an open mind. I think you will see where I’m coming from.
Justanotherfan I’ve said my peace and will let you have the last word. As I said you do make a strong case one that I can’t deny. I just can’t help fill bad for some of these kids chasing their dreams and ending up with nothing. Not even an education.
nuleafjhawk last edited by
I haven’t read all the comments, but many of you know how much I LOVE the OAD rule. (where’s the dang eye-rolling emoticon?)
To me, it’s no different than telling a kid that it’s ok to drop out of High School as a freshman/sophomore - whatever - to go work for…let’s say the Railroad, because it’s a great paying job. Wouldn’t everyone agree that it would be a stupid move? Please say yes…
It’s the same with college - to me. The pay scale is grossly exaggerated, but the principal is the same.
You’re giving up an education (not to mention several years of the best times of your life) for a whole boatload of money.
As my buddy who used to be stationed in Hong Kong always tells me -
“Same, same - Hong Kong name”
One of the problems with this whole thread has been assuming the examples given are normal individuals. The players on the 353UrbanVoice were selfish, sick, and stupid, with no self-control. One had 8 kids by 8 different women. There were also problems with gambling, drugs, alcoholism, greed, and a need to impress others. Those are not traits that a college education is going to correct. They are not normal people in any way. Sadly, it is reflecting our society more and more.