Can stars like LeBron James save college basketball from corruption?

Les Carpenter, The Guardian

North Carolina, who have been implicated in academic fraud, beat Gonzaga in last year’s NCAA Tournament finalNobody is stepping up to fix college sports, so if LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony truly believe the NCAA is corrupt they are the ones who will have to change it.

The power to alter the American college basketball system with its exploited players and multimillion dollar coaches lies in the hands of the NBA’s biggest names. They can demand an end to the ridiculous one-and-done stipulation that requires a top prospect to wait one season after high school to enter the NBA Draft. They can build a clause into their union’s contract with the NBA that allows kids to come straight into the league the way James and Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett once did.

Don’t expect college presidents to clean up their athletic departments. Not with endowments booming and wealthy alums craving a basketball fix. Don’t believe the NCAA’s leadership welcomes reform. Not with $10bn coming from Turner and CBS for three weekends of a tournament each March. Don’t hope the coaches find a soul. Not when their $2m a year is tied to making sure that a teenager in extra long gym shorts hits his jump shot.

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