Paul McMann_Entrepreneurs Aim to Elbow NCAA With New Leagues

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Paul McMann says his league would aggressively buy TV air time and market itself better than the USBL via its corporate sponsors. "People will see us and recognize us," he promises. He hopes to have an eight-team league running next year in major cities, including Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

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Entrepreneurs Aim to Elbow NCAA With New Leagues By Rodney Ho . Wall Street Journal Eastern edition New York N.Y. New York N.Y18 Aug 1998: B1. ProQuest document link ABSTRACT ABSTRACT The Collegiate Professional Basketball League aims to launch next year. The brainchild of Paul McMann a Babson College lecturer in Lexington Mass the CPBL hopes to take advantage of what some view as NCAA hypocrisy. NCAA schools make millions from such things as TV rights and sports merchandise while their players get none of that money. And while the NCAA also sets minimum academic requirements for athletes only 44 of male basketball players in Division 1 schools graduate. The CPBL plans a network of corporate-sponsored teams made up of players up to 22 years old. Team members would earn as much as 17000 a season plus room and board. In its business plan the CPBL states that players will be "self-supporting throughout their League career without the need or temptation to accept money or gifts under the table." A number of NCAA teams have run afoul of the associations rules in recent years because their players have received improper benefits. FULL TEXT The NCAA which for decades has locked up the hoop dreams of high-school players may soon be getting competition from the business world. Entrepreneurs are hoping to cash in on the lucrative college sport by recruiting rising stars to play on private teams. To do that they are embracing a strategy that is expressly barred by the National Collegiate Athletic Association -- paying their players. The Collegiate Professional Basketball League aims to launch next year. The brainchild of Paul McMann a Babson College lecturer in Lexington Mass the CPBL hopes to take advantage of what some view as NCAA hypocrisy. NCAA schools make millions from such things as TV rights and sports merchandise while their players get none of that money. And while the NCAA also sets minimum academic requirements for athletes only 44 of male basketball players in Division 1 schools graduate. The CPBL plans a network of corporate-sponsored teams made up of players up to 22 years old. Team members would earn as much as 17000 a season plus room and board. In its business plan the CPBL states that players will be "self-supporting throughout their League career without the need or temptation to accept money or gifts under the table." A number of NCAA teams have run afoul of the associations rules in recent years because their players have received improper benefits. For recruits the proposed league will target high-school kids who might lack the grades to meet the NCAAs grade- point requirements. Besides prepping kids for careers in the National Basketball Association the CPBL claims it will offer scholastic lightweights an academic boost. PDF GENERATED BY SEARCH.PROQUEST.COM Page 1 of 4

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"We want to give these kids a positive incentive to stay in school" says Mr. McMann who is 40 and teaches accounting to graduate students at Babson. That means providing players 20000 a year in scholarship money in addition to pay. The scholarship could be used for as long as four years after leaving the league. Wally Renfro an NCAA spokesman says a committee is looking at its rules prohibiting college athletes from earning money "and trying to determine whether they do in fact make sense." One issue being looked at he says is "how might a student athlete participate in marketing of their own name and number." And on Aug. 1 the NCAA began allowing students to earn as much as 2000 during the school year. At least two other nascent leagues are also angling for a piece of the NCAAs market. The International Basketball League of Pittsburgh is a franchise operation seeking both college-age and older players to play on eight teams which it says will be ready for tip-off in November 1999. Vice President Paul Martha a former general counsel to the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Francisco 49ers says the league has raised "several million dollars" through private sources. Bruce Stern an attorney organizing the National Rookie League in Washington D.C. says he hopes to have six teams ready for play by next summer. Some students may find the new leagues attractive for reasons other than money. The NCAA has tightened its academic eligibility rules in recent years excluding some athletes from play. "The NCAA is getting antiquated and too restrictive and omnipresent as far as amateur sports is concerned" says Dean Bonham a sports-marketing consultant in Denver. "They are opening the door for programs and leagues to compete with them." He likes the CPBLs concept: "Why is it wrong for an 18-year-old kid who is economically disadvantaged who has some incredible God-given talent to make money while getting an education What these leagues have in their favor is a more progressive thinking about how we should deal with our youth who are infatuated with being professional athletes." Mr. Renfro the NCAA spokesman says the association is reviewing its rules for athletes academic eligibility. He says the alternative leagues "are filling a niche for a certain type of athlete" but he fears that some who go this route will not focus on college. Duane King a 6-foot-4 star forward and incoming senior at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville Ky. says he is attracted to the pay and the ability to attend any school he is qualified for rather than just those which offer scholarships. He does have one concern: He hopes the new league will "be competitive and better than the NCAA." Mr. McMann and his rivals face a big challenge turning a profit. History is littered with the detritus of dead and stillborn basketball leagues. Two long-term survivors are the Continental Basketball Association and the United States Basketball League. Neither recruits NCAA-eligible athletes instead focusing on those who fail NBA tryouts and are no longer qualified for the NCAA. Despite being the NBAs official developmental winter basketball league the CBA has struggled for years playing in cities such as Sioux Falls S.D. and Boise Idaho. It is down to nine teams from 16 as recently as 1995. The USBL a summer league has had better luck eking out its first profit this year after 13 years and 10 million in PDF GENERATED BY SEARCH.PROQUEST.COM Page 2 of 4

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losses. The 12-team league also targets small cities but saves travel costs by staying only on the East Coast. USBL owner Daniel Meisenheimer III says he still battles for TV air time and sponsors with average game attendance of 800 far below what the start-ups want. Mr. McMann says his league would aggressively buy TV air time and market itself better than the USBL via its corporate sponsors. "People will see us and recognize us" he promises. He hopes to have an eight-team league running next year in major cities including Chicago Boston and Philadelphia. The CPBL is hunting for 18 million in start-up private capital for its first two years using venture firm Josephburg Grosz Co. of New York. Mr. McMann is also fishing for sponsors. At Adidass recruitment camp for high-school basketball players on the Fairleigh Dickinson University campus in Teaneck N.J. last month Mr. McMann flagged executive director Sonny Vaccaro seeking his support. "Id love to have Adidas aboard" as a sponsor says Mr. McMann a persistent man who called Mr. Vaccaro 20 times prior to the meeting. A team could be literally named after Adidas for 400000 a year providing "affordable family entertainment" at 10 or less a ticket he says. But Mr. Vaccaro also a director of sports marketing for Adidas America isnt biting. He appreciates Mr. McManns gumption but says there wouldnt be enough eyeballs on those Adidas jerseys to make it worth the sneaker companys investment. "Look Im not trying to beat you up" Mr. Vaccaro tells Mr. McMann "but all you are going to be is filler on TV. Youre thinking Pollyanna stuff here." Mr. McMann has crisscrossed the country pitching his idea to more than 80 potential sponsors including NCAA sponsors such as American Express and Pepsi as well as their rivals. "I just need that first big sponsor" he says. Credit: Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal DETAILS Subject: Entrepreneurs Athletic recruitment Corporate sponsorship Professional basketball People: McMann Paul Company: Collegiate Professional Basketball League National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA Publication title: Wall Street Journal Eastern edition New York N.Y. Pages: B1 Number of pages: 0 Publication year: 1998 PDF GENERATED BY SEARCH.PROQUEST.COM Page 3 of 4

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LINKS In OneSearch Database copyright 2018 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Contact ProQuest Publication date: Aug 18 1998 Section: Enterprise Publisher: Dow Jones Company Inc Place of publication: New York N.Y. Country of publication: United States New York N.Y. Publication subject: Business And Economics--Banking And Finance ISSN: 00999660 Source type: Newspapers Language of publication: English Document type: News Accession number: 05166074 ProQuest document ID: 398863373 Document URL: https://search.proquest.com/docview/398863373accountid11979 Copyright: Copyright Dow Jones Company Inc Aug 18 1998 Last updated: 2017-11-02 Database: Business Premium Collection PDF GENERATED BY SEARCH.PROQUEST.COM Page 4 of 4

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