LeBron suggests G League as NCAA replacement

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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James never played in college but he has always had a deep appreciation for the college game.

So he is well aware of the scandals currently rocking the NCAA, and everyone's theory on the changes needed to keep something similar from happening again.

As usual, LeBron has some theories of his own.

The first one he suggested involved the G League -- and the NBA creating an even truer farm system, where players can turn pro out of high school and spend a season or so getting paid in the minors.

“I don’t know if there’s any fixing the NCAA,” he told reporters after shootaround Tuesday. “It’s what’s been going on for many, many, many, many years. I don’t know how you can fix it. I don’t see how you can fix it."

James intends to take his ideas to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The NBA currently has a rule that players must be a year removed from high school before being eligible for the annual draft.

That's different from when James entered the league straight out of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in 2003. The Cavs drafted him first overall.

“Obviously, I’ve never been a part of it, so … I don’t know all the rules and regulations about it," James said of big-time college athletics. "But I do know what five-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football. I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids.

"I’ve always heard the narrative that they get a free education, but you're not bringing me on campus to get an education, you're bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship. It’s just a weird thing.”

James, who finished February by becoming the oldest player to average a triple-double for an entire month, used the European farm system as an example of what the G League could become.

"You look at pros overseas, some of those guys get signed at 14, but they get put into this farm system where they’re able to grow and be around other professionals for three or four years," he said. "Then when they’re ready they hit the national team, or they become a pro.

“I don’t have the answer to it right now, but I’ve kind of been brainstorming a lot."