My Thoughts on Darius Bazley's Decision

5.11.2018  |  Liam Blutman

My thoughts on the Darius Bazley decision...

If you haven’t heard, Darius Bazley was a highly sought after recruit who was headed to Syracuse. The top 10 recruit recently made a bold decision and he’ll be passing up his full-ride to Syracuse and is going to play in the G-League. I have zero issue with the move and am baffled that many find this decision to be uneducated. He’s a 17 year old kid who will be making around $26k playing G-League Basketball. And people are actually saying that’s way too low and not enough to support him, etc. How much would Bazley be making at Syracuse? Oh right… $0. So how are people going to hate on him for making $26k at 17? Then there’s all the people hating because he won’t get an education… He’d have gone to college for one year, not two, not three, not four, and he’d be 110% focused on basketball not caring about some random math problem. So now Bazley can be 110% focused on basketball with no need to worry about academics, he can spend more time perfecting his craft and becoming a better basketball player… Sounds great. It is great and others will soon follow his lead. The G-League is made up of a bunch of college studs who either didn’t pan out in the NBA, didn’t get a chance in the NBA, or are developing their game to get ready for the NBA. The competition here is good, Bazley will get so much better playing against these guys every night. I really like this move by Darius and wish him the best of luck in his career and I’m excited to see how this plays out.

Oh and the NCAA can learn a thing or two from Bazley’s decision. You have to give your student athletes some kind of salary or else this trend won’t be a trend anymore, it will be a common decision in a plethora of kids lives. We can all agree that the college game is more fun to watch than the G-League but these kids are going to be chasing that $26k and the freedom from school. Think about all the other athletes these kids meet on the AAU circuit and through high school basketball... they become friends, read what each other say through social media or text, and become aware of an abundance of college athletes complaining about not having enough money to buy food or struggling to spend time with friends because they have to study for multiple exams. Kids don’t want that nowadays, I really do believe that the G-League route will thrive. Let’s not forget about the other option kids have. They can go overseas and play international ball. As a huge fan of college sports, I’m going to need to see the NCAA step it up and stop hoarding their money and being manipulative. These student athletes deserve a salary. Just think of all the money they bring you with their work that is televised for all to see. The NCAA made so much money when Donte DiVincenzo scored 31 points in the National Championship. Countless people tweeted about Donte and he went viral. He played the game of his life and all he gets for this incredible feat. Is some gear from the NCAA. No money… And you wonder why a top recruit is passing up on college ball...

Liam Blutman is a first-year student at Santa Monica College bringing a series of articles and editorials about collegiate athletics and young athletes in professional sports. A natural Bruins/Angels fan and solid sports gamer, look for more content coming soon and follow Liam on twitter. It's a pleasure to have him join our writing team.

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