NCAA

Steve Kerr challenges NCAA to 'do something good for the kids'

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Steve Kerr challenges NCAA to 'do something good for the kids'

Over the last few weeks, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has made it known that he's not a fan of the way the NCAA handles its athletes.

Recently, Kerr addressed the topic of kids turning pro on the Warriors Insider Podcast with Monte Poole.

On Monday, a day after Kerr took in the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors game, the topic came up again after practice in Oakland.

"I think there are a lot of things the league and the NCAA can collaborate on. The fact that the G-League is getting stronger and stronger, I think there are only three teams that don't have their own G-league team now in the NBA. The fact that the league is getting stronger and stronger, we should provide that opportunity for the high school kids that don't want to go to college.," Kerr told reporters at the practice facility.

Then Kerr turned his ire towards the NCAA, the one-and-done rule and players losing their amateur eligibility if they sign with an agent.

"I also think one of the things the NCAA needs to look at is, if a kid signs with an agent and declares for the draft and he doesn't get drafted, welcome him back. Why not? What's the harm? We're going to talk about all this amateurism and all this stuff, but if we're truly trying to do the right thing for the kid, and the kid declares for the draft and doesn't get drafted and realizes 'You know what? I should go to college.' Welcome him back. Do something good for the kids," Kerr said. "And don't just keep this ruse going. We all know what's going on. Let's do what's best for the kids and give them some options and work together between the NBA and the NCAA and find the right system. I think it's entirely doable if everybody just opens their eyes."

Kerr's comments come on the heels of a report that league plans to meet with the player's association to discuss the one-and-done rule that is currently in place.

Kerr: NCAA 'unwittingly sending kids to the professional ranks'

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Kerr: NCAA 'unwittingly sending kids to the professional ranks'

Steve Kerr frequently expresses his good fortune to be coaching a Warriors team blessed with an abundance of talent.

He also considers himself a beneficiary of good timing, given what’s coming.

We’re creeping ever closer to the day when, according to Kerr, gifted high school players routinely bypass college and go directly into the professional ranks.

“Oh, yeah, for sure, I think that’s inevitable,” Kerr said on the NBC Sports Warriors Insider Podcast. “That’s going to happen. And the NCAA is probably unwittingly helping foster that with the way they treat some of these kids.”

Kerr recalled the story of Billy Preston, considered among the top 25 recruits in the 2017 class. He signed with Kansas, practiced with the team in October but was suspended for the opener by coach Bill Self for disciplinary reasons. Preston missed the Champions Classic win over Kentucky because he was involved in a single-car accident.

What followed was an NCAA investigation, regarding ownership of the vehicle, that dragged through the rest of November, through December and into January.

After 67 days without resolution, Preston decided enough was enough. He signed on Jan. 19 to play for a professional team in Europe.

Preston wanted to play for Kansas, but didn’t know if he would have the chance.

He also wanted to be a pro, and couldn’t resist when given the opportunity.

“The NCAA, the way they handle their business, they’re unwittingly sending kids to the professional ranks, whether it’s overseas or the G-League, as the G-League continues to grow,” Kerr said. “They’re making going to college, even for one year in the ‘one-and-done,’ less appealing to a lot of these players.”

In the here and now, though, Kerr credits college experience as one of reasons the Warriors have been so successful in recent seasons.

“One of the reasons we’ve have had a lot of success here with the Warriors is that we’ve got a lot of guys that do have that college experience,” Kerr said. “Draymond Green? Four years learning under Tom Izzo, has helped make Draymond an All-Star. Steph Curry? Three years in college basketball, honing his craft and getting ready for the NBA.”

Klay Thompson, who spent three seasons at Washington State, was another player cited by Kerr. David West spent four years at Xavier, Nick Young three years at USC, Andre Iguodala two years at Arizona and JaVale McGee two years at Nevada.

Shaun Livingston is the only Warrior who made the jump to the NBA directly out of high school, in 2004. Kevin Durant, who attended Texas for a year, is the only member of the one-and-done club currently on the roster.

“Now Kevin Durant and LeBron James, those guys are outliers,” Kerr said. “They’re physical freaks of nature that just don’t exist.”

They’re precisely the kind of talents likely to go directly from high school to the G-League, if not higher.

Place your March Madness money on Vacated

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Place your March Madness money on Vacated

You have all been told at one point in your lives that something is an absolutely sure thing, a guaranteed-to-happen event. A mortal lock.
 
Well, this is mine, and I share it with you because I am a better person than you all think I am. Not by a lot, I grant you, but by this much.
 
The winner of the 2018 NCAA national championship in men’s basketball will be Vacated. With a capital-V, the way the NCAA likes to spell it.
 
Va. Cay. Ted. Book it now. Your children’s college educations shall be assured.
 
This comes in the wake of the Yahoo story by veteran reporters and noted offal disturbers Pat Forde and Pete Thamel that at least 20 Division I schools, including traditional megapowers like Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC, Alabama, South Carolina, Wichita State, Utah and Xavier, are listed as schools of interest in a federal probe of college basketball that includes payments to players from agents and their representatives.
 
Now before you explain to me that kids are the victims here, let me just say that the kids are the victims here. That's not the issue. We all know that the morals and ethics of high-money college sports would cause Arnold Rothstein to rise from the grave, throw up, and then return to Hell.
 
This is just about what the result of this investigation, and the NCAA’s predictably sluggardly response, will be. This is about how you should bet March Madness for your own fun and profit.
 
And that is to push it all in on Vacated. Maybe as a money line futures bet, in fact.
 
You see, the title won’t be given to Vacated right away. You will see actual players doing actual basketball things, and an actual team with an actual name on the front (probably Nike, though Adidas and UnderArmour could factor as well) will celebrate the victory as a statement about the goodness of the deity and the essential rightness of life.
 
But eventually, Vacated, which last won the championship in 2013 while disguised as Louisville, will come up from behind and snatch the trophy away, so whatever else you do, DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR TICKET THINKING YOU HAVE LOST. Vacated is a bit like the Warriors, your poor adolescent choices and death – slow starters, even for years sometimes, but furious closers at the wire.
 
And that, boys, girls and undecideds, is when you cash, proud in the knowledge that you took the longer and more nuanced view – that college sports is actually like this all the time, and every now and then someone gets up the gumption to call the industry out on it.
 
This doesn’t last forever, either. Interest wanes, satchels of money are exchanged, winks and nods are traded and the business returns to being the business.
 
But this right here is an opportunity to get some of yours back. You can't clean up college basketball, and you don't have to all – but this is your chance to clean up ON college basketball.
 
So bet Vacated with the confidence that comes with knowing that mortal locks aren’t typically this mortal, or lock-ish. Your children, thoughtless money-sponge ingrates that they are most of the time, will thank you for it. Probably when you're not around to hear it.