College Basketball Has Permanently Changed, Can Ben Johnson and the Gophers Adapt?

This was originally posted on our message board, including discussion which can be found here:

College basketball does not work the same way it did when Ben started which is a startling fact considering he has only been here 3 years. Most are still trying to grasp what this means.

One thing it means is that local kids might leave, or might stay, or might leave and then come back all based on dollars being thrown around in April of each year. This is going to be tough for many to come to terms with but the sooner people understand this the sooner we can begin to fix some of these problems.

For example: If you are mad at kids for not playing for the home team it is about the same as knocking a local baseball prospect for not signing with the Twins farm system. Sure – you could be mad at this kid but nobody is listening because it is just business for the teams involved and for the player. The players assume you would quit your job and move on if you got a better offer – why not them?

Some of you need to adjust expectations for the “amature” basketball league we follow:

  • Teams will be rebuilt every year and if you changes coaches you may lose all your players.
  • You will lose players to the portal every year (Everyone, every year)
  • Evaluating portal talent, quickly crafting rosters, and selling portal candidates will be the most important coaching talents required
  • AD’s ability to support the local NIL programs will become their most important contribution and their primary measure of success/failure.
  • Big money programs will simply win the most games. Complaining wont help – start donating.
  • Any team (“ANY”) with a rich enough benefactor can put together a highly competitive team.
  • Players will NOW make decisions based on the following: Education, Coaches ability to sell the next year’s vision/roster, development/in-game coaching reputation, potential to be on a “special” team, & financial compensation (not in that order)
  • Kids without playing time may be more likely to move if they feel like they can get to an NIL level at another team.
  • The less talented kid is more likely he is to stay with your team and clutter up your roster.
  • Coaches will be looking for more flexibility in terminating scholarships.
  • Some players will change teams every single year just to make the most money
  • Players will have much more power and some legacy coaches will not be able to make this transition and will begin to retire.
  • With rosters changing so quickly some teams will go from last to first and the reverse. So… rebuilding is not really a thing anymore. Just reload and win next year.
  • Teams with an established base of financial support and existing success will be more likely to continue as they likely will have more NIL to offer out of the gate and the earlier success will only help their future donations
  • Athletic departments may be in the position to need to decline donations and ask people to move giving to the NIL programs
  • Probably a lot more that I am missing…

I am not saying I like it – but the only people not making money in a 100 billion dollar industry have found a way to get paid and they are not going back.

Is Ben a good coach for the new paradigm? Can Coyle indirectly help bring dollars to the players to create winning programs? Will local business get on board? I guess we shall see…


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