Australian League Offering High Schoolers $78K A Year To Not Play In The NCAA
Over the past few weeks, College basketball has been going through a rough stretch with the recent FBI probe and the uncovering of current and past players potentially accepting money from agents. The biggest time of the year for the NCAA, March Madness, is just around the corner, but it hasn’t stopped the talk of the corruption that is going on with several prominent basketball programs around the country.
With players being unable to go straight to the NBA from high school or make money in college, there has a been a big push by many to create an alternate avenue for these players to make big dollars while playing competitive basketball. That avenue won’t include playing in the NCAA.
According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, there is a league in Australia that is trying to get NBA hopefuls to play down there. They’re even offering these potential players a substantial amount of money to do so.
The Australian National Basketball League already had Terrance Ferguson, the No. 11 high school recruit in ESPN’s 2016 Top 100, forgo his year at Arizona to sign with the Adelaide 36ers.
After benefiting from the exposure of helping Ferguson reach the NBA, the NBL has formalized a rule that should make it much easier for future prospects in his mold to forgo college and develop in Australia instead. As part of its new “Next Stars” program, the NBL will be adding an extra roster spot next season intended strictly for draft-eligible players such as Ferguson, the league told ESPN. Sources told ESPN those players will be paid 100,000 Australian dollars gross guaranteed (approximately $78,000 U.S.), funded directly by the league.
“Unlike other countries where players and agents deal with clubs, the NBL will directly contract the players,” NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said in a release provided exclusively to ESPN. “We will make sure the players get the development they need as part of the program with our clubs, giving them the best chance of success.
“The NBL provides strong visibility back to the U.S. Our league is closest to the NBA in terms of style of play and game day presentation. We will work to build a program to provide the right access to NBA teams and scouts alike.”
Only issue right now is that the NBL restricts its teams from having more than three foreign players on a roster at any time.