Wednesday November 29, 2023

The Paid College League

  • This summer, there will be a new college basketball league aimed at providing the economic and educational opportunities the NCAA doesn’t.
  • The Professional Collegiate League will pay players between $50,000 - $150,000.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
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Even if players don’t go to college, they still can’t enter the NBA Draft until a year after graduating high school.

In that gap year, some play overseas. Others, like five-star recruit Michael Foster (pictured), will go to the NBA G League’s Ignite team. 

But there will be a college basketball option aimed at providing the economic and educational opportunities the NCAA doesn’t: the Professional Collegiate League.

How It Works

The PCL will host its first season this summer in the Washington, D.C. area. It will feature teams from eight east coast cities. 

The PCL plans to generously pay between $50,000 – 150,000 and allow players to profit from their NIL. 

And education is important to the league: Players must be enrolled in a two- or four-year college to be eligible. That’s also why the league will be played in the summer, so athletes can focus on school and campus life in the off-season.

‘Economic Justice’

The league is committed to giving athletes resources it believes have been previously unavailable at the NCAA level. 

“How do we think about treating athletes fairly?” journalist and PCL advisory board member Soledad O’Brien told reporters. “How do we think about supporting them so that they get to their goals and they’re able to leverage what they are bringing to the table?” 

“I think that’s what makes, from my perspective, this really essential.”

Even its broadcast partner is aligned. Last week, the PCL signed a media rights deal with Next Level Sports and Entertainment and its digital streaming arm For The Fans. The broadcaster describes itself as the “sole minority-owned 24/7 linear platform” with content “for and by urban communities.”

“This is the time to give economic justice, and put it in the hands of these young athletes that deserve it,” Next Level Sports owner André Gudger told reporters. 

“I believe in this model.” 

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