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ACC Basketball, California, and NCAA pay-for-play

ACC NetworkThe ACC lost many of its top players to the NBA at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 campaign, including its most prolific star, Duke’s Zion Williamson, and a host of other high draft picks.

The conference certainly appears to be more balanced this upcoming season than in years past.
One of the main concerns for the ACC and other other conferences across the nation is college players being paid to play, a proposal that is gaining momentum, especially since last month, when California signed a law that goes into effect in 2023.

That law permits athletes at universities in the state of California to make money from their images and likenesses starting in 2023.

That ruling has certainly caught the attention and concern of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which possibly could be effected as much if not probably more than other conference in the nation.

The ACC has long been considered the nation’s top-rated conference in mens basketball, and has produced a wealth of top-rated professional players through its history.

In the conference’s media day held recently in Charlotte, N.C., Commissioner John Swofford says the ACC needs to be “open-minded” to the concept. Many of the league’s coaches agree with the spirit of the new law.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski  had a straightforward response, saying “athletes and coaches can no longer have our heads in the sand” and have a better plan to attack the problem instead of just sitting back-being reactionary.

The NCAA’s current definition of amateurism has for the most part withstood the test of time, overcoming class-action lawsuits, disgruntlement from athletes, fans even Congress.

And as of today the NCAA has prevailed in its archaic mentality of, it’s OK for universities and coaches to make millions while the student-athlete who makes it all possible is forced to be content with the scholarship the school has provided him or her.

Nothing has changed NCAA policy that not allowing athletes to receive any compensation clearly differentiates college athletes from professional athletes, that was, nothing until last month in the state of California.

California Sens. Nancy Skinner and Steven Bradford may together be known as the individuals that redefined amateurism in California (to start) and quite possibly take down the mighty NCAA.

Column by Scott German


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