ESPN analyst and former Duke basketball player Jay Williams doesn't have much faith in the future of the amateur NCAA college system, he told HuffPost Live on Tuesday.
Williams, who opens up about his post-NBA life in his memoir Life Is Not an Accident, said the current amateur model will eventually "collapse" thanks to all the big money that has been infused into the game. The scholarships that college players receive pale in comparison to the astronomical coach salaries, money that networks make while airing college games and overall profits that universities bring in from their biggest athletes, he said:
You have these coaches like Nick Saban and Michael Krzyzewski, all these guys, who are making $6, $7 [or] $8 million a year. ... So my thing is, the money is starting to get out of control, and maybe 20 years ago you could have had the excuse that it's all about the academics, but now, even though I get a $60,000 education for that year, it still doesn't outweigh the amount of money that I'm bringing to the organization.
Williams said his own college experience is a "prime example" of the problem with the system.
"My last year in school, my jersey did over $2.5 million of sales, but I'm not entitled to a percentage of that because I'm still labeled an amateur," he told host Alyona Minkovski. "Yet I'm putting in work hours, 15 to 16 hours a day, like I was an employee."
Williams suggested that a better alternative system would "incentivize" the players by ensuring a payout if they keep up their grades.
"If you go to a school like Duke, if you happen to play basketball there, [the school could] set aside the money that the program made that year, allocate a small percentage for each individual player and leave it in escrow, and we'll let it inflate over four years," he said. "And if you graduate, while maintaining this GPA, within that four-year time frame, then you're entitled to this amount of money. This way you incentivize the kid."
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