By Ken Reed
The NBA has a rule that prevents high school basketball players — no matter how talented — from jumping to the NBA after high school. So, most top players go to college for a year or two.
However, that can be a risky proposition for college basketball stars because of an NCAA rule that prevents NCAA athletes and their families from taking out a loan to pay for “loss of value” insurance. If a top college basketball player chooses to get a loan from a third party to help pay for “loss of value” insurance, based on potential future NBA earnings, he would be violating NCAA rules regarding accepting extra benefits beyond an athletic scholarship.
“How many of those families have access without loans to pay for one of the premiums of these policies that could be six figures?” said Warren K. Zola, an assistant dean at Boston College’s business school and a counselor for athletes pursuing professional careers. “They go to college and the NCAA decides were not going to allow you the capacity to fully insure your potential earnings because that’s an extra benefit. And once again, student-athletes have no union, have no advocates, and everyone just goes along in the commercialism of college athletics saying it’s O.K.”
Paul H. Haagen, co-director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy at Duke University believes the NCAA rule is hypocritical given the NCAA’s stance on protecting the best interests of student-athletes.
These particular NBA and NCAA rules recently came under the spotlight when the University of Kentucky’s center Nerlens Noel, expected by many to be the number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft, tore an ACL and is out indefinitely, his future prospects in question.
Noel’s injury, and his lack of “loss of value” insurance, may have cost him millions of dollars in professional basketball earnings. He’s left to decide whether to stay at Kentucky and rehabilitate his knee or enter the NBA draft and hope his stock hasn’t decreased substantially.
“I think we need to be having these debates in talking about the welfare of student-athletes,” said Zola. “Noel is just another shining example of how that gets ignored.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
Special FeaturesFrom League of Fans
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to encourage social & civic responsibility in sports industry & culture. See League of Fans Core Principles
Petition from Baseball Fans Everywhere To Mariano Rivera
April 6, 2013League of Fans Calls for More Humanistic Coaching Programs. Click here to see the release.
League of Fans Announces 2012 “Sport At Its Best” Awards
December 20, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on Ralph Nader's Call for Budding Sports Reformers
December 7, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on Ralph Nader's Claim that Sports Media Are Dropping the Ball on Social, Cultural, and Economic Issues in Sports
November 22, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on the campaign to Make the NCAA Live Up to Its Stated Purpose
October 26, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on the campaign to create a National Sports Commission
October 11, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on the campaign to Ensure Equal Opportunity in Sports for all Americans
September 21, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on putting the "Youth" back into "Youth Sports"
September 8, 2011 Click here to read the news release and report on the campaign to abolish the BCS and Establish a College Football Playoff
August 25, 2011
Read the news release and report on Mandatory Implementation of King-Devick Concussion Test in High School and Youth Sports
August 11, 2011
Click here to read the report and news release and about the campaign to promote sports and physical education for all students
Read the news release and report on Campaign to Promote Humanistic Coaching Education Programs
July 13, 2011
Read the news release and report on the Push For Community Ownership in Professional Sports
June 24, 2011
Read the news release and report and Sports Manifesto on Re-Launch of League of Fans
March 24, 2011
NCAA's Reaction to League of Fans' Proposal
March 29, 2011
League of Fans' Response to NCAA
March 25, 2011
League of Fans Proposes Eliminating Athletic Scholarships to Help Restore Integrity on College Campuses
League of Fans is a project of the Center for Study of Responsive Law.