Did recruiting just get more expensive for Kentucky?



  • Gary Bedore: Kansas will face strong schedule in ’15-16

    Option for one-and-doners?: A California-based group says it will offer 2015 McDonald’s All-Americans $700,000 to play for an independent pro team called the Las Vegas Dealers.

    The team owner says it will play 35 games in Las Vegas against European League teams and would also go on a 15-game tour of Europe.

    Team owner Cerruti Brown told Las Vegas FOX 5 TV that some current McDonald’s All-Americans are being contacted to sign up for the 2015-16 season, to begin in October.

    “We don’t see any problems in landing the right kids. Now, I’m not going to say we’ll have 10 of the top 25 kids this year, but I’m going to go on record as saying we’re going to have five,” Brown told the TV station.

    On the league’s Website (lvdbasket.com), it says McDonald’s All-Americans will earn $700,000, underclassmen with college eligibility $400,000 and free agents $100,000 for the upcoming season.

    “College is not for every young man that is trying to use basketball to provide a better situation for their families,” says owner Cerruti Brown. “Our innovative model targets the McDonald’s All-Americans who are projected first-round prospects by NBA scouts and general managers. This concept allows for the highly touted player to bypass college and immediately become a paid professional. We are able to offer competitive salaries averaging around $700k to the highly touted McDonald’s All-Americans who are typically ‘one and done’ players and $400k for college underclassmen. The Dealers’ niche will be based on giving basketball players a different option than what is presently offered in America. Before this, underclassmen had to either play college ball or go overseas. Venturing to Europe will not be a necessity when a U.S.-based organization will play top European teams.”



  • My only question is who will watch this and how many fans will tune in???

    And to answer my own question and start off this poll… I for one will not be tuning in.

    This just doesn’t interest me. And I’d say I’m a basketball junkie. But to be more specific I’m a college basketball junkie. As a fan of the Kansas University I watch all KU games as well as certain other college teams (mostly our BigXII brothers, Michigan St, some ACC, others), coaches, and players that I like. I don’t watch the high school games on espn unless there is a KU kid playing and I have nothing better to do. The McD’s games, the Adidas All Star games, the others all star games… I don’t watch. I’m not a fan of no defense and half ass effort. I don’t watch the NBA but I do follow our former 'Hawks, always checking the box scores. I haven’t even tuned in to one playoff game.

    If a guy like Thon Maker becomes a LV Dealer will anyone care?? Are there already Thon fans out there?? Did anyone in the US that isn’t a friend of Mudiay watch a single game of his this year??

    I don’t know who Cerruti Brown sees as his target audience? College basketball fans that he’s stealing OADs from? NBA fans, if there is such a thing besides during the playoffs… ?



  • @Kip_McSmithers

    “My only question is who will watch this and how many fans will tune in???”

    I would watch. And I’ll buy team gear and everything else.

    I’ll help fuel the concept of pulling OADs out of college basketball!

    Las Vegas Dealer t-shirts? Heck yes…



  • @drgnslayr

    Instead of this horse and pony show I’d rather the NBA allow kids to be drafted out of high school but if they go to college instead make them stay more than 8 months. At least make it 2 years or better yet 3 like in baseball. Of course the NBA clubs don’t want the pressure of drafting an unknown and getting the next Kwame Brown…



  • @Kip_McSmithers If this works it COULD ruin college basketball all together. This will NOT be the only team around if the NM team is a financial success. It could turn into an entire league with teams sprouting up all over the country. IF the NCAA and the NBA don’t do anything about this right now these teams could snatch up all of the top 100 talent around the country before anyone knows what hit them.



  • This will force the NBA to let kids out of high school enter the draft if the NCAA wants to continue pocketing its March madness earnings.



  • Where will they get coaches-quality ones and how much will they pay them?



  • @Crimsonorblue22 To answer your question, most anyone can get decent results with OADs, look at Cal? When I saw this I thought it was a spoof story. Don’t be surprised if the NBA owners buy this up & mothball it really fast. The guys in that boys club are all Billionaires, with a capitol friggin B !! NCAA might even chip in some change for the tip.



  • @Kip_McSmithers

    It all depends on how well run the team is, including coaching, management, etc. The danger for colleges is that if it is well run, other teams may pop up as well and create a minor league system. That could cause a serious drain on talent, particularly if more of the top talent starts moving in that direction.

    We are all more familiar with top recruits now than we were 10-12 years ago. Remember before the OAD era how people would be wondering which guys would skip college and go to the pros and which guys would go to college. If anything, reinstating the straight to the pros option will lead to a bigger effect for OAD players in the college game because there will be fewer guys with that level of talent.

    If this team is legitimate - still an if from a management perspective, I think elite players (those with a legit NBA future) will flock towards it as a better development tool than college hoops.



  • Will the new team, or teams if this project is a success, have new rosters every year?? Or will it have a bunch of D-League guys on it to fill all the open spots?? Talk about edge of your seat basketball there. Anyone here watch the D League??? Remember, the NBA only drafts 60 guys a year. Some are from overseas. Some are college kids. And some from this XFL like league. And not all of those guys make the BIG League and are demoted to DLeague with a 30,000 paycheck… Sounds like a sticky situation.



  • I wonder if the NCAA or NBA will end up taking this guy to court. All it’s going to take is 1 high profile kid to take this kind of deal before they take notice and fight back. I mean the NCAA wants the top kids in school at least a year, and the NBA wants them in school at least a year to protect the product and the development process.

    The money is definitely enticing for kids to consider but it sounds like a glorified European tour. A lot of things to consider. Will this guy pay for all their travel and stay in cities. Who’s going to coach them?



  • @Statmachine

    “If this works it COULD ruin college basketball all together. This will NOT be the only team around if the NM team is a financial success. It could turn into an entire league with teams sprouting up all over the country. IF the NCAA and the NBA don’t do anything about this right now these teams could snatch up all of the top 100 talent around the country before anyone knows what hit them.”

    Right… it’s the perfect threat to actually make the NCAA do something. Bravo!

    But it really isn’t a threat. How many teams can there be that fill up with OADs? Let them go… It’s the same kids that would skip to the league from HS if they could anyways. This league will have a hard time staying alive for long, but it only has to be long enough to help push the NCAA into a better arrangement for student/athletes. Gosh… they might even get paid more than a tiny stipend and room/board.

    This story is why I love America. Monopolies form, and entrepreneurs come around and figure out ways to break them up! Bring it on, Vegas!



  • And on the NBA side… give them some competition for D-league so they have to pay guys that take the ultimate injury risk more than $30k a season!



  • Could this spawn competitors? The Chicago Gunners, the Denver Potheads, etc.? I mean if one guy can do it, why wouldn’t someone else say they want in on this action? And to compete, they’ll offer 800,000 to their Micky d players. Then the next one says, come here and I’ll give you a million?

    I know I wouldn’t watch at all. Part of the very small allure of the Dleague is at least those guys are former college players I’ve watched and remembered.

    But hey, this is the USA. Free enterprise will do it’s thing and maybe the guy has an idea that will work.



  • @BeddieKU23

    “I wonder if the NCAA or NBA will end up taking this guy to court.”

    For what? On what grounds? That this guy is taking away from their monopolies? The players aren’t owned slaves to anyone. Free market… America…



  • @drgnslayr “But it really isn’t a threat. How many teams can there be that fill up with OADs? Let them go… It’s the same kids that would skip to the league from HS if they could anyways. This league will have a hard time staying alive for long, but it only has to be long enough to help push the NCAA into a better arrangement for student/athletes. Gosh… they might even get paid more than a tiny stipend and room/board.”

    It could open the door for anyone in the top 100 that doesn’t want an education. These kids will develop and would take a lot less money to skip out on the books and develop their craft. I believe that this could really pull the rug out from under the NCAA. It is a REAL threat and I bet its got the attention of the NCAA, NBA, and The all mighty SHOE companies.



  • If this team takes off best case scenario is 5 of the top 10 go semi-pro as well as a handful of other ineligible players. Skal is probably eyeballing this as we read. This may help weed the NCAA down on the number of OADs.

    Worst case scenario the league is wildly popular and suplants the NBA becoming the next big thing. No top kids go to college and the NCAA goes defunkt.

    More likely, if this gains traction, is the NBA doing away with the age limit.



  • @drgnslayr

    The key quote from the story was “underclassmen with college eligibility $400,000”

    That means your Cliff Alexander’s, Josh Selby’s, anybody that jumps from college that isn’t drafted, etc. Now there is a domestic option. You don’t have to play in Finland, or Romania, or Turkey or wherever.

    But the key is that it would only be for guys with pro futures. I could see a possibility where the quality of play for this team could very quickly surpass the quality in college and make this a more practical development area for the elite players. Would a guy like Brandon Rush have remained at KU after his freshman year if he could earn $400k and go up against players that are just a notch below the NBA?

    It wouldn’t drain the top 100, but every guy with a reasonable pro future could go to this team/league —> if the financial part is viable. That is yet to be proven.



  • @Statmachine

    “It could open the door for anyone in the top 100 that doesn’t want an education. These kids will develop and would take a lot less money to skip out on the books and develop their craft. I believe that this could really pull the rug out from under the NCAA. It is a REAL threat and I bet its got the attention of the NCAA, NBA, and The all mighty SHOE companies.”

    That’s exactly what I’m hoping. I hope they all see it as a threat because there are very few business models in America that have so little competition as these guys have. Let’s face it… D-league is a complete joke! Paying guys $30k max per season should be considered a crime.

    I’m always going to support a pro league that gives more options to players. How can adding competition hurt anything? It can only help.

    And as far as being a Jayhawk fan… I think it could do nothing but help Kansas basketball. Self has never counted on running complete talent stacks like UK and Duke. He has to coach up his talent. I have faith in him that he can coach up talent better than both Calipari and Coach K.



  • If I read it correctly, at this point it is just one team and I am sure one quality coach can be found very easily. Apparently they will play 35 games against euro pro-teams and after one year the better players move to the NBA and the team is replenished with a new batch of McD All- Americans.

    Best case is that it would be attractive to top players out of HS since they can make money while playing against decent competition, unless the Euro Leagues ban their teams from playing against this team. Worst case, they become a less entertaining version of the Harlem Globe Trotters…heck, they can take over the role of the Generals…



  • @drgnslayr

    “Let’s face it… D-league is a complete joke! Paying guys $30k max per season should be considered a crime.”

    What a profound position you have lured our attention to.

    On a 2080 hour year that sum amounts to a paltry $15 an hour. Any skilled labor union in the entire country pays almost $5 more than that to an apprentice. Even the ditchdiggers (laborers). MDA’s can, in the not too distant future, probably make that baggin fries at McDonalds plus get free food. Hell with college, they can get an extra sign on bonus (lifetime Big Macs) for being a MDA.



  • D-League… Pleasure Island…

    http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110926180429/disney/images/2/28/Pinocchio-disneyscreencaps_com-6489.jpg

    http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/wp-content/x/PinB39.jpg

    http://the-artifice.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/pinocchio-donkeys-480x200.jpg



  • @justanotherfan “if the financial part is viable”. That was the first thing I thought of but haven’t been able to post until now. I think it is highly questionable as to whether something like this is sustainable…who will watch? How will this bring in enough money to pay the players and coaches? Other “leagues” in other sports have tried and failed (World Footbal League) It might work for a little bit as a novelty…but I don’t see if lasting very long.



  • @Hawk8086 I agree, but I’m sure they have some ideas to make a little money: for example, make NBA scouts pay through the nose to get seats.

    By the way, what happens if a kid “signs up” and the Dealers fold? College eligibility lost, NBA not yet - unpaid limbo? Development League? Weeding drgnslayr’s garden?



  • @Hawk8086

    A friend of mine owns one of these arena pro football teams and roped me into their season not long ago. They play long after the Super Bowl, so if you want football, this is your choice. My thoughts are this basketball league can work if they run right after the NBA playoffs. When the only other choice is some D-league. I was surprised how many people attend arena football. I think the key is to not compete in the same time slot with better ball. It’s a bigger problem for basketball because there is basketball now through most of the year, of some sort.

    I think they can get some people to attend, if their teams are in the right market and they have the right people managing the teams and promotion. There are plenty of guys like me who will go to about anything. Heck… I’ll go to a high school game if I have nothing to do and I have no connection to either team. I just like watching ball.

    @ParisHawk

    Funny you should say that. I’ve got a pretty good PG who helps me with my garden sometimes… 6’ and scrappy like Diallo. Same build.



  • @Hawk8086

    It is not a League. it s just ONE team and it will be playing in Vegas against Euro pro teams that probably will line up for a trip to Vegas. Tons of scouts will get season tickets to scout the euro prospects and regardless of the time of the year, there is always an audience for just about anything in Vegas. I imagine casinos will probably subsidize some of the costs as well.

    Payroll will not be that large and probably average $500K per player so total payroll for 13-15 players plus coaches around $10M. All in all, pretty doable; I am surprised someone did not think of this before.



  • @JayHawkFanToo Doesn’t matter if it is a league or not…only using that as an example. I am skeptical that it will bring in enough to pay these guys the money they are talking about.



  • @Hawk8086

    Did you not see the numbers? top salary is $700K and low is $100K. If you average that to, say $500K, then with a roster comparable to a NBA roster of 13-15 players, you are looking at $6M-$8M in player salaries. Add the coaching and support staff at $3M and you have a payroll of $10M.

    Now the average Home attendance for the NBA is around 18,000 and the team with the lowest attendance (76esr) drew 14,000 per game. The top 20 college programs average at least 15,000 per game, so a realistic and conservative figure could be 10,000, wouldn’t you agree?

    Now, if you charge an average of $50 per ticket, a bargain by Vegas standards, you have:

    35 games x 10,000 attendance x $50 per ticket = $17.5M which more than cover expenses.

    Airlines would fly the team from Europe as a promotion and Resorts in Vegas would comp their stay.

    Plus, casinos would pay for them to play at their arena because of the additional guests they would bring. All the celebrities in LA that cannot great tickets for the Lakers/Clippers would be pay a premium prices for court side tickets and suites in Vegas (short drive form LA), plus they would make additional money from endorsements and merchandising.

    I can see it not only as feasible but very profitable as well.



  • @JayHawkFanToo We can agree to disagree. I question that the demand for these games is there to generate enough revenue. And I saw the numbers…



  • @Hawk8086

    I get you don’t agree with me; however, you don’t seem to refute the numbers I cited. UNLV averages over 15,000 per game and I would think - although I could be wrong - that an OAD All-Star team playing European professional teams would draw at least 10,000. I would guess that a lot of basketball fans visiting Vegas would try to catch a game or two to see the players that college missed and Euro stars with NBA potential.; I know I certainly would. Of course since they would not be in a League or playing for any post-season reward it would only be for show, which might decrease the audience, but on the other hand, it would fit perfectly in Vegas.

    Again, it is not a big deal, but I would be interested in why you think the team would not attract an audience? I indicated the reasons why I think it would and I would be interest in seeing your side.



  • @JayHawkFanToo Perhaps because I am not that interested…I can’t speak for everyone. Also, while your numbers may indeed work out…I don’t think either of us know what would be involved. I have been a commercial banker for 25 years…all that qualifies me to say is that I know what I don’t know…the people involved evidently believe they know the numbers…and it may indeed work out. I would argue it probably is not as simple as you say…but you may be right. I am looking big picture…and it doesn’t seem viable to me. Again, maybe I am biased by my lack of interest…



  • The key to making this make money is distribution. In the past, you had to get a major TV deal. Now you don’t. You can get a deal to have every game on one of the many streaming services out there. A deal like that could be enough to make the product viable, along with a few small sponsorships. As @JayHawkFanToo pointed out above, you could probably run this team for less than $30m per year. If you can get a distribution deal worth half that, an apparel deal worth another $5m - $10m (easy if they start drawing the top OAD talent) and some other corporate sponsors, you could make this work even if you don’t sell a single ticket.

    That’s what makes this whole idea interesting. I think it is viable if they can put together a broadcasting/ streaming deal for $15m+.



  • What better place to gamble than Los Vegas. The way I understand the pay is it will be a calculated based on a players future earning potential.

    Jerry Meyer was tweeting with someone and said the way it was explained to him was…

    The team will pay a player the money for a percentage of possible future earnings.

    So not everyone gets the same pay, but gets paid enough for the owners to profit off their future earnings. This is a one year gamble on kids that will make good money and some will bust and they will lose out… Guess that’s Vegas, everyone trying to get an edge. This time off the backs of 18 year olds with terrible council mostly.


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