New York High School Athletes Could Make Six Figures Leaving High School
Just when you thought the name, image and likeness debacle in college athletics was risky, a league for high school basketball players has taken it to a whole new level.
The Overtime Elite League Was Founded by Overtime's Creators
The Overtime Elite League was founded by Dan Porter and Zack Weiner, two business partners who had founded the company "Overtime" years prior.
The original business, Overtime, is a basketball-centered content company, which reaches millions of basketball fans every month by posting videos of A.A.U. and travel basketball dunks, spin moves and deep three-pointers on social media.
The company has received support, and investments, from a number of high-profile NBA stars, including Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, among countless others. The aforementioned creators and investors both saw a flaw in basketball: the AAU systems were becoming too powerful, and the financial burden on talented players from lower-income families was becoming too much.
Their solution? Create a league that pays young basketball players. A lot.
Players Can Make Six-Figures in This League
The creators of Overtime launched the Overtime Elite League, which has essentially become basketball sleep-away camp for the best young stars in the nation. According to an article from The New York Times, the league requires the kids to attend class for a portion of time every week. It also provides training in press conferences, social media interactions, and other "basketball lifestyle" events.
Here's the catch...the players will be paid anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 for participation in the league.
Seems a bit dangerous, doesn't it?
There are Many Positives and Negatives to the Overtime Elite League
Let's weigh the positives for a moment. These young athletes aren't *just* playing basketball. Every sign points to them receiving structured education, and life skill training in addition to their play on the court. Plus, the organization isn't the only entity profiting off of their skill.
All of that being said, paying 16 and 17-year old kids six figures is always a dangerous precedent to set. Players with top skill could walk into college with seven figures in their bank account, and a sense of entitlement that could completely derail their year at school.
I am always a proponent of someone being compensated fairly for the work that they put in. There has to be a limit on age and maturity, however, and athletes from New York high schools and beyond could suffer in the long-run.