Our game is hurting.
For anyone who truly loves basketball, the news that broke this week about the FBI’s investigation into widespread corruption throughout college basketball is not a surprise…it’s just a sad reality.
And it’s really bad for the game.
College basketball players, especially those at major Division 1 universities, are entitled to receive some form of compensation. This is no longer an uncommon belief nor a dramatic stand. The court’s ruling on O’Bannon vs. NCAA was a clear victory for amateur athletes who for years, have helped universities generate revenue, awareness and prestige through their efforts. And recent amendments to NCAA by-laws allowing additional payments to athletes from Power 5 conferences is a step in the right direction to compensate players for the considerable time and effort they spend on behalf of their schools.
But this pace of change has been too slow and has birthed a system whereby footwear companies effectively control the grassroots basketball landscape, giving them a platform to pay amateur athletes directly. Are those footwear companies just righting a wrong by giving athletes their fair market value compensation? Maybe, but by doing it outside of current NCAA regulations, they run the risk of invalidating that athlete’s eligibility and more importantly, their chance to earn a college education. Louisville’s Brian Bowen is the first unfortunate example of how this can go awry – I’m certain he won’t be the last.
So, what can we do about this? From our perspective at POINT 3, we stay the course. I started POINT 3 in 2010 based around a love of the game and a clear need for a basketball-only apparel brand. And for any Coach, Administrator or Team Uniform customer who has ever spoken to a POINT 3 representative, they have no doubt heard the same speech…
WE CARE ABOUT BASKETBALL.
This stance has been a brand pillar since our company’s founding and will remain that way. We’ve lost business because of this, and may lose more in the future but that’s a price we are willing to pay - it is elemental to who we are and one of our core beliefs at POINT 3.
It’s a sad time for college basketball and those involved in these scandals, both now and what are no doubt more to come in further investigation. But we will continue to work hard to remain part of the solution rather than contribute to the problem.
Today we are releasing the first episode of our We Care About Basketball Video Series, entitled Motivation (see above). This series of short videos set to be released over the coming weeks is the result of hundreds of hours spent at youth tournaments talking to players, coaches, parents and fans about what basketball means to them. We hope it serves as a reminder for what this game is really all about.
Thanks to all those who stand alongside us.