Duke legend Christian Laettner rips current state of college basketball

While appearing on the "Dan Patrick Show", Duke legend Christian Laettner ripped the current state of college basketball and N.I.L. payments.
SiriusXM broadcasts from Radio Row at the NCAA® Final Four® and National Championship in Minneapolis
SiriusXM broadcasts from Radio Row at the NCAA® Final Four® and National Championship in Minneapolis / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

Though most of the sports world has come to accept the N.I.L. and transfer portal movement that has redefined college athletics, some are still pushing back. That includes Duke basketball all-time legend, Christian Laettner.

Thursday, while appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, Laettner sounded off on the way the college basketball is being run.

“You know everyone says the horse is out of the barn and I’m here to tell you that everything's going wrong,” Laettner said.”NIL, take it away. Transfer portal, take it away. Expanding the stupid tournament, take it away. You have to make it feel special, you have to make people earn their spot to get in the tournament. I know everything is about money, and money makes the world go round, but everything they’re doing is wrong.”

Of course, Laettner would have had quite the payday had N.I.L. opportunities existed in the 1990s. After all, he was the face of the college game during Duke's back-to-back National Championships in 1991 and 1992.

However, Laettner told Dan Patrick that he wouldn't have taken any N.I.L. money when he was at Duke.

“No, even though everyone says, ‘boy Christian, you would’ve made a lot of money if NIL was going on when you were there.’ That’s what the NBA is for,” he said. “That’s why there’s guys in the NBA making $50 million a year. That’s what you train and work hard for, and the payoff comes at the end.”

That's a statement that's hard to believe, especially since Laettner never really cashed in big time at the NBA level. Sure, it is easy for Laettner to take the high road now decades later.

However, athletes aren't in the business of turning down money. That's especially true for athletes in their late teens and early 20s.

Thus, it seems as if Laettner might be grandstanding a bit to make his point. Still, it seems that the Duke icon isn't a fan of the way the game is being run in the modern era.