The NCAA Might Be Screwed Due To The G-League
Jalen Green is a 6'5'' shooting guard with an arsenal of scoring and passing moves. At only 18 years old, he still has plenty of room for growth in both his literal size and his game. He's the nation's number one basketball prospect, and you'll be hard-pressed to say otherwise after watching him treat his fellow competition like they're cones in a practice drill or James Harden trying to play defense.
There is no disputing that Green is NBA ready, which is why he's choosing to forgo college and enter the NBA's developmental "G-League." So why should you, a member of the non-basketball viewing public care? Because Jalen Green's decision has massive ramifications for the NCAA and, depending on how far you want to play this scenario out, could have massive ramifications for basketball and colleges as a whole.
You see both the NCAA is massively exploitative of top prospects (also known as kids), making hundreds of millions of dollars while giving the players nothing. Unless you count a free year of entry to a college that they won't graduate from, and the chance to get themselves hurt and lower their draft stock as a salary. It's the sports version of indentured servitude. But the "G-league" has finally been set up to take players out of high school, allowing prospects like Jalen Green the opportunity to get paid (Green might make up to a million dollars this year) and develop in an NBA setting (Instead of playing against whatever the Big Sky conference considers basketball).
There is a lengthy debate to be had as to how best to utilize the "G-league" system, both for the NBA and the players, but the bottom line for the NCAA is clear. If top prospects follow Jalen Green to the "G-League" it could cause the NCAA to lose profits, which in turn could mean a restructuring of the college system as many colleges both rely and are hampered by their ties to sports programs.
How this actually manifests we're not sure. This is but the first tiny thread in the giant knotty sweater of money and sports and education. Maybe it amounts to nothing as colleges adapt or the NCAA realizes they never actually needed star power anyway. Maybe it means colleges will no longer be able to prioritize massive stadiums in lieu of educational facilities. But the NBA is pulling and, if other sports follow suit, then that whole ugly sweater might start unraveling before too long. To which we say: Good.