Former president Barack Obama has weighed in on the hot topic of amateurism and college basketball.
Obama spoke for an hour at last week's MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, a conference on sports policy in Boston. During the appearance, he commented on the NCAA, and provided a potential solution for the NBA.
The NCAA has come under increased scrutiny as of late, due to a high-profile FBI investigation into college basketball. Uncovered payments to recruits and potential involvement of high-profile figures in the sport has also led to debate surrounding the NBA's "One-and-Done" rule. The rule, agreed upon by the league and its players' union, currently requires players to spend a year removed from high school before making the jump to the NBA.
At the conference, Obama stated he believes the NBA would benefit from a junior league 'so that the NCAA is not serving as a farm system for the NBA with a bunch of kids who are unpaid but are under enormous financial pressure.'
"It's just not a sustainable way of doing business," said Obama. "Then when everybody acts shock that some kid from extraordinarily poor circumstances who's got 5, 10, 15 million dollars waiting for him is going to be circled by everybody in a context in which people are making billions of dollars, it's not good." Creating an alternative league for people eventually headed to the NBA "won't solve all the problems but what it will do is reduce the hypocrisy" of pretending that all student-athletes are both students and athletes.
What are your thoughts on Obama's suggestion?
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