Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has some advice for OSU star freshman Marcus Smart: staying in school has its advantages.
Bowlsby has some warning for the current culture of college basketball: change is a must.
Bowlsby spoke Wednesday at the Executive Management Briefings, presented by OSU's Spears School of Business, at the Cox Convention Center.
Among Bowlsby's topics was the transient nature of college basketball, which he called “an embarrassment for higher education.”
Bowlsby said about 10 percent of all major-college basketball players transfer every season, which eventually means on average, 40 percent of a team's roster has transferred.
“It's an astonishing number to me and one we have to change,” Bowlsby said.
One-and-done — players declaring for the NBA Draft after their freshman seasons — has become common.
“I say that knowing Marcus Smart may declare for the draft,” Bowlsby said. “He may be completely ready to go the NBA. He may have family reasons for going to the NBA. But I would suggest another year of college wouldn't be bad for him.”
Bowlsby said the ideal rule for college basketball is the baseball model. Major League teams are allowed to sign players right out of high school, but if a player goes to a four-year college or university, he's ineligible for the draft until after his junior year or until he's 21 years old.
“Unfortunately, the (NBA) players union, which is run by the agents, won't go along with that,” Bowlsby said.
David Sloane, who represents primarily baseball players but formerly was an agent for NBA players, disagrees with Bowlsby's assessment.
“The NBA union is not run by agents,” Sloane said. “Agents have influences, but only as much influence as their players allow them to have. Even if you represent the entire roster of the All-Star game, you're not going to say something your clients really don't want you to say.”
Sloane said the rule was adopted because of too many high school players declaring for the draft, cashed big paydays “and fell on their face … the (union) members would rather see that money go to more established-type players.”
But Bowlsby says he remains committed to change.
“All the best parts of collegiate athletics and all the worst parts of collegiate athletics are prevalent in college basketball.
“There are programs out there that are systematically manipulating the things we believe in in higher education. To that extent, we need to go to work on it.”