In a polarizing yet familiar reaction, Paige Bueckers' decision to stay at UConn for another season is drawing comparisons to Shedeur Sanders' choice to remain in college, resonating with concerns of not wanting to be second-best.

By the Numbers
  • In 2023, Bueckers earned over $600k from endorsement deals, nearly ten times the WNBA salary for a second-overall pick.
Yes, But

Some critics simplify their decisions as merely not wanting to be second-best to their peers, overlooking the complex landscape of player motivations beyond ranking concerns.

State of Play
  • Elite college athletes like Bueckers and Sanders are defying the traditional rush to turn professional, leveraging NIL and Transfer Portals to redefine their career trajectories.
  • Both players are likely to excel in their upcoming seasons, benefiting from enhanced opportunities and financial gains that were not available to previous generations.
What's Next

As more top athletes opt to extend their college careers, fueled by changing dynamics in collegiate sports, the landscape is evolving towards a new era where player decisions are less driven by immediate financial needs.

Bottom Line

Bueckers and Sanders' choices to delay turning pro signify a shift towards a more sustainable and thoughtful approach to career transitions in collegiate athletics, showcasing a changing paradigm influenced by NIL and the Transfer Portal.