Steve Kerr takes on NCAA eligibility rules: 'Don't just keep this ruse going'

Steve Kerr is no stranger to speaking his mind.

From gun control to Donald Trump to LaVar Ball, the Golden State Warriors head coach has not shied away from controversial opinions on hot topics.

Now with his alma mater Arizona in the crosshairs and college basketball under fire thanks to an FBI investigation into pay-for-play, Kerr has the NCAA in his sights.

He addressed the state of amateur basketball with reporters Monday, calling for the NCAA to change a rule that ends a player’s eligibility if he enters the NBA draft and is not selected.

“Why not? What’s the harm? We’re going to talk about all this amateurism and all this stuff, but if we’re truly trying to do the right thing for the kid, and the kid declares for the draft and doesn’t get drafted and realizes ‘You know what? I should go to college,’ welcome him back,” Kerr said. “Do something good for the kids.”

Steve Kerr wants to see amateur players have more control over their path to the NBA. (Getty)
Steve Kerr wants to see amateur players have more control over their path to the NBA. (Getty)

Current NCAA rules allow players to declare for the draft and test the waters without losing their eligibility if they withdraw their names by a deadline prior to the draft. If a player remains declared for the draft and is not selected, he’s out of luck. A player is only allowed to test the waters one time without losing eligibility.

Kerr, like much of the movement looking to change how the NCAA operates, wants to see more power in the hands of players rather than the schools.

“And don’t just keep this ruse going,” Kerr said. “We all know what’s going on. Let’s do what’s best for the kids and give them some options and work together between the NBA and the NCAA and find the right system. I think it’s entirely doable if everybody just opens their eyes.”

While Kerr has stopped short of advocating paying college players in the past, he told reporters that the NBA should work to provide the G-League as a path for high school players who don’t feel college is their best option.

“The fact that the [G]-league is getting stronger and stronger, we should provide that opportunity for the high school kids that don’t want to go to college,” Kerr said.

At the same time, Kerr has credited college experience for contributing to the success of players like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green while acknowledging that extraordinary physical talents like Kevin Durant could successfully make the leap from high school.

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