NCAA football and men's basketball programs are under assault from all directions recently. First a federal judge ruled that Northwestern University football players were entitled to hold an election to decide whether to unionize. Then last week Rashad McCants of UNC confessed that he stayed academically eligible only because he took fake classes and had others write his term papers. There are also various people pointed out that NCAA school gained tons of money because of their players but the players are not allowed to share any money. All these events made NCAA football, basketball programs on very shaky ground because NCAA looks very hypocritical.
One way to resolve this issue is to create a new kind of minor league system in football. First I want to point out is that NFL really want to have some kind of minor league system for players who are not yet ready for NFL. The primary reasons are the following: the kids at 18 years old are physically and emotionally immature. They also do not have the right techniques to perform in NFL. Therefore drafting them right out of high school hurts both the players and NFL.
The minor league system currently used by MLB and NHL has their shortcomings as well. (1) The minor league teams do not have as much support in their local markets compared to NCAA teams. (2) The players played in minor league teams have very little name recognitions compared with NCAA players. (3) Nobody pays much attention to minor league teams' championship games because their integrity is in question due to player calling ups and player sending downs.
Therefore the minor league system I proposed should have the good part of the NCAA system while getting rid of the hypocrisies of NCAA. The key features are the following. (1) The minor league teams are independent teams representing local communities. They are not affiliated with any major league teams. (2) NFL will use age limitation to guarantee good high school players to play in the minor league system for at least a few years. (3) NFL will perform annual draft to draft players out of the minor league system. (4) There will be limitation on how many years a player can play in the minor league.
The minor league system setting up using above principle will have the following benefits over the current minor league systems. (1) The local support will be stronger.(2) Championship games will be more creditable. (3) Minor league players will have more name recognition. During the transition period from current NCAA system to the new minor league system, the minor league teams can be owned by colleges. Eventually they will be owned by individuals or companies to represent the cities.