Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy: NCAA 'maybe the worst organization' in sports

Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy did not hold back in his criticism of the NCAA over the corruption allegations in college basketball.

Van Gundy said before the Pistons’ game on Sunday that the NCAA was one of the worst organizations in sports and doesn’t care about athletes.

“The NCAA is one of the worst organizations — maybe the worst organization — in sports,” Van Gundy said via the Detroit Free-Press. “They certainly don’t care about the athlete. They’re going to act like they’re appalled by all these things going on in college basketball. Please, it’s ridiculous and it’s all coming down on the coaches.”

As you know, college athletes are prohibited from making money, even off of their likenesses, to remain eligible because they’re officially classified as amateurs. So when accusations fly like Arizona arranging a $100,000 payment to ensure star center DeAndre Ayton plays for the Wildcats in 2017-18, it’s against NCAA rules.

A player projected to be a top-five pick in the 2018 NBA draft, Ayton’s probably only in college because of the NBA’s rule that prohibits players from declaring for the draft immediately after high school. While the NCAA gets flack for the rule, it’s a product of the NBA.

Ayton played Saturday night for Arizona even after coach Sean Miller didn’t coach over his alleged involvement with Ayton’s recruitment.

Van Gundy took aim at the backlash some players got for coming out of high school to go straight to the NBA and said that backlash had racial undertones. Baseball players drafted out of high school can sign and play in the minors immediately or are eligible for the draft again after three years if they head to a four-year school.

“People that were against (players) coming out (of high school) made a lot of excuses, but I think a lot of it was racist. I’ve never heard anybody go up in arms about (minor-league baseball or hockey),” Van Gundy said. “They are not making big money and they’re white kids primarily and nobody has a problem.”

“But all of a sudden you’ve got a black kid that wants to come out of high school and make millions. That’s a bad decision, but bypassing college to go play for $800 a month in minor-league baseball? That’s a fine decision? What the hell is going on?”

As students have become more aware of the rights they should have, the NCAA has started to make concessions, though nothing close to the step of allowing players to take endorsements. NCAA schools have agreed to provide athletes cost of attendance stipends to all players while comprehensive transfer reform is possible this summer to allow players to transfer immediately if/when his or her coach leaves or gets fired.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!