Show an ad over header. AMP

Overtime targets NCAA with new league offering $100,000 salary to high school players

With the NCAA model under attack, sports media company Overtime is launching its own basketball league and offering high school players six-figure salaries to skip college.

How it works: Overtime plans to recruit up to 30 athletes, ages 16 to 18, to forfeit their high school and college eligibility and join their league, Overtime Elite (OTE), starting in September.


  • Compensation: OTE athletes will receive at least $100,000 annually, plus health insurance and equity stakes in the company. They can also earn money from their name, image and likeness (i.e. jersey sales).
  • Fallback fund: $100,000 in college tuition money will be set aside for each player in case they decide not to pursue basketball professionally.
  • Format: Players, and possibly their families, will move to one city (to be determined) to live, train and compete. Games will be played on the same court, and the plan is to add an international tour.
  • Education: Overtime, which has over 100 employees and expects to nearly double in size with the launch of OTE, will hire education staffers to teach athletes and help them get high school diplomas.
  • Leadership: Longtime NBA executive Aaron Ryan will serve as OTE's commissioner and president, while former NBA player and assistant GM Brandon Williams will lead the basketball operations division.
Overtime host, Overtime Larry, takes a video with fans. Courtesy: Overtime

Between the lines: OTE's model resembles the academy system used in Europe and elsewhere around the world, where major college sports aren't a thing and amateurism is a foreign concept.

  • "Abroad, they're all pro at 16, so they're looking at our model and thinking 'What's the revolution here?'" says Overtime co-founder and CEO Dan Porter.
  • "Nobody was complaining that Luka Dončić got paid to play basketball at 16. Nobody shed a tear over him not going to college. So what's the double standard?"

What they're saying: NBA commissioner Adam Silver seemed to approve of OTE when asked about it on Saturday, saying he isn't opposed to paying younger people and that "optionality is good."

The state of play: OTE isn't the only league recruiting teenagers to skip college and get paid. The NBA, itself, is now courting 18-year-olds to join its G League developmental program after graduating high school.

  • The NBA is expected to end the one-and-done rule in the next few years, which could allow OTE graduates to go straight to the league.
  • Until then, they'll likely spend a season playing in the G League or abroad before becoming eligible for the NBA draft.

The intrigue: Part of the appeal of OTE is that Overtime has 50 million followers and knows how to create digital content for teenagers, the most important audience for any rising star.

  • By comparison, Saturday's Duke-UNC game drew just 1.87 million viewers to ESPN — and most were not teenagers.
  • "Ask college players if they gain a lot of followers after playing on ESPN2 or another network," says Porter. "I guarantee they gain more on our platform, and it's an audience they care about: young people who are going to buy their sneakers."

The last word, via Sportico's Michael McCann:

"Between the NCAA struggling to adopt NIL, an enhanced G League ... pro leagues in other parts of the world signing American high school stars and now Overtime Elite, men's college basketball is learning what competition is about."

European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Keep reading... Show less

81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

Keep reading... Show less

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

Keep reading... Show less

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

Keep reading... Show less

Russian authorities say jailed opposition leader Navalny has been transferred to hospital

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hospitalized, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

Keep reading... Show less

The state worst hit by the pandemic

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the job facing governments was to save lives and save jobs. Very few states did well on both measures, while New York, almost uniquely, did particularly badly on both.

Why it matters: The jury is still out on whether there was a trade-off between the dual imperatives; a new analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies shows no clear correlation between the two.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden confronts eroded credibility on climate action and Paris agreement

The biggest hurdle for President Biden in winning new emissions reduction commitments at this week's White House summit is America's on-again, off-again history of climate change efforts.

Why it matters: The global community is off course to meet the temperature targets contained in the Paris Climate Agreement. The White House wants the summit Thursday and Friday to begin to change that.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories