Plan (B)eware

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Well the debate has been around since professional athletes have been getting paid huge salaries as to whether getting a degree matters if you're a lock as a lottery pick or assured first round status. Barring an injury you will achieve the status on a small percentage of Americans will ever enjoy which entitles you to a life of riches beyond the norm.

But with the NFL lockout and now the NBA following suit, all the first round picks in this year's draft have the position of millionaires without the money. This will surely be a call to action by the NCAA, college coaches and academic tutors as to why you need your degree citing things like the aforementioned strikes. Now I have always said if you get a guaranteed contract that staying in school is unnecessary but I must now qualify that by saying make sure you're not in the cross-hairs of an apparent lockout by the league who will be your employer. This is a valuable lesson learned and that is have a plan B. If you're a top pick sign your shoe with Nike or your apparel deal with Adidas and start doing appearances to generate income in the interim. Learn how to be a public speaker and have topics at the ready and yes, yes, yes take business and marketing courses as they will serve you well.

So let the debate rage on about whether to stay in school. I still contend if you are assured first round or lottery status you have to leverage it; that is as long as it's not in the year of a strike or lockout. The only difference between you and a first round pick right now is eventually they will get paid millions of dollars. Whether they have a plan B or not is the same question you should be asking yourself.

That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat...

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