FOX Sports Exclusive
One fan's plan to keep Wiggins at KU
A journey of $4.44 million begins with but a single post on the Internet, hatched in the brain of a fan trying to think of a way — any way — to persuade Kansas' star small forward, Andrew Wiggins, to return to the Jayhawks for his sophomore season.
A fool-proof (and not-at-all-destined-for-failure) plan has been devised to raise money via crowdsourcing site Indiegogo with the intent of paying Wiggins not to declare for the NBA draft. (Editor's note: Some time this morning, the fundraiser was unpublished to "DRAFT" mode — so it's not clear whether the plan is being abandonded, or merely tweaked.)
What kind of obstacles does such an idea face? Oh, just an NBA rookie salary of $4,436,900 — which is what Wiggins would reportedly earn as the league's No. 1 draft pick, as he is projected to be.
I know what you’re thinking — but the author claims it's all been worked out. You see, Wiggins would get the proceeds from the fundraiser only after he turns pro, not if he stays in college. It’s a genius plan that no one has ever thought of before.
"Here's the fun part," the original post read. "NCAA rules prohibit athletes from receiving cash contributions during their college careers. However, there is no rule that says athletes cannot accept money after their college careers are over."
I now invite you all to turn to I Emmert 184.108.40.206. Please join me in reading directly from the scripture of the NCAA rule book, under the header "Prohibited Forms of Pay":
• "Any direct or indirect salary, gratuity or comparable compensation."
• "Cash, or the equivalent thereof (e.g., trust fund), as an award for participation in competition at any time."
• "Preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete."
I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me this plan could be accurately described as direct or indirect compensation, as a trust fund and as preferential treatment based on the individual’s athletic reputation.
And if the wording of the actual NCAA rule book doesn’t make it clear enough, Kansas has already been in trouble for a similar situation. In 2006, the NCAA placed KU on probation for allowing boosters to provide gifts to basketball players who had exhausted their eligibility.
So, we can say with a great deal of confidence that the NCAA would be very much against any plan to promise an athlete money as an inducement to play for your school.
You wonder: Could the person behind this idea be a saboteur? A Kansas State or Missouri fan scheming a clever way to ruin Kansas’ season? A Kentucky fan, perhaps?
You also can image how Wiggins himself might respond to this effort:
“That's a generous offer ... but what about my shoe contract?”