Steve Kerr is never one to keep his opinions to himself, including when it comes to the subject of the NCAA. In February, Kerr said he felt that NCAA students should be able to profit off their likeness, much like athletes do in the Olympics.
Now, Kerr is proposing another change to the NCAA eligibility rules. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Kerr said that he felt players who declared but did not get drafted should be able to return to school.
That would be a huge departure for the strawman argument the NCAA puts up in favor of “amateurism”. This year a college football player for UCF was famously declared ineligible after he refused to shut down a YouTube channel he ran detailing his life, including what it was like to be on a D1 team.
“One of the things the NCAA needs to look at is, if a kid signs with an agent and he doesn’t get drafted, welcome him back,” Kerr said. “Why not? What’s the harm? We talk about amateurism and all this stuff, but if you’re truly trying to do what’s right for the kid, and the kid declares for the draft and doesn’t get drafted, you know what? Welcome him back. Do something good for the kids.”
Kerr appeared to criticize the relationship between the NCAA and NBA as we reach what feels like the precipice for the one-and-done rule. Kerr said that something had to be worked out between the two sides, and that, “I think it’s entirely doable if you people just open their eyes.”
Pretty much everyone has been calling for a change to the NCAA rules — heck, even former President Barack Obama has made his voice heard.
Players aren’t being paid their worth, the scandals are hurting programs, and with the latest from college basketball some folks are even in actual legal trouble on money laundering charges. A lot of these issues could be quelled by the NCAA changing their rules, but it will likely be hard to convince them to do so given how much they stand to profit each year off of free labor.
Pro sports will be a driver for if and when these rules change, and guys like Kerr speaking up in favor of a new system will nudge things in the right direction.