Newly appointed NBA commissioner Adam Silver is trying to make prominent moves in the NBA right now. The most recent change he is thinking about advocating isn’t in the NBA, but in the NCAA.
Silver was speaking at the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center Partner Summit on Wednesday and he stated that he was open to the idea of “subsidies” for student basketball athletes in college in order to ease their circumstances and allow for the increase to the NBA’s age minimum he’s been pushing since taking office.
“Rather than focusing on a salary and thinking of them as employees, I would go to their basic necessities,” Silver said. “I think if [Connecticut Huskies guard] Shabazz Napier is saying he is going hungry, my God, it seems hard to believe, but there should be ample food for the players.”
This is the first time a high-ranking executive has spoken out in support of college athletes who believe they should be entitled to payment while in school. Silver also mentioned covering attendance gaps and providing insurance for the athletes which would cover the most widely held fear from those considering returning to school, the risk of a serious injury.
Silver has been adamant about raising the age limit from 19 to 20 years old and he’s using this concept to soften the blow to help ease his age limit stance through. This move would have a domino effect that will spill over into college football. NCAA football is already dealing the football players from Northwestern University, who won a legal case to be able to form a union earlier this month. Silver’s idea will just fuel the financial movement of the football players and weaken the current structure of collegiate athletics.
The thought has wrinkles that needs to be smoothed out, like would the subsidies really be enough to satisfy players over the fact that they are missing millions of dollars by not being allowed to go pro?
However this current situation will progress, Adam Silver is definitely demonstrating that he is ready to lead the NBA in his own style, whether you like it or not.