‘Class is in Session’ S1, E7: The amateur draft process
On episode seven of Class is in Session with Doug Glanville presented by UI Health, Glanville dives into the draft process for the major American sports leagues, including how they have evolved over time, and changes that need to be made in the interest of protecting players’ interests and encouraging teams to try to win. To watch the full episode, click here.
During the wide-ranging discussion, Glanville and the panel of guests discuss how to most effectively discourage tanking, how teams weigh analytics and intangibles when making draft choices and how players and agents can try to influence where they play.
Guests for this episode include:
- Ruben Amaro Jr. – Former MLB veteran and General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies; current NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst
- Arn Tellem – Legendary NBA and MLB sports agent; current vice chairman of Detroit Pistons
- Kevin Weekes – 11-season NHL goaltender and current NHL Network studio analyst
“The draft system was created to establish a principle of competitive balance that centered around future talent,” says Glanville. “In this episode, we engage Arn Tellem, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Kevin Weekes to discuss this system and how it differs throughout sports. Through their expertise, we gain understanding about the NBA, MLB, and NHL approaches, all of which had their drafts in the same month for the first time in their histories.”
“There has to be some sort of lottery system for the bottom 10 or 12 teams, whatever the case may be … allowing a team to continue to be a poor team and to not allow their fans to enjoy their ball club, I think that’s wrong, that’s not why we play this sport … we should be teaching players to win.” – Ruben Amaro Jr. on the need to discourage tanking in pro sports
“When I represented Kobe Bryant, they had instituted a salary structure so the salaries were pre-determined. So, it really wasn’t as critical to go as high, but rather getting the player to the right team, which led me to the strategy of trying to get Kobe Bryant to the Lakers.” – Arn Tellem on how the NBA NBA rookie pay structure factored into Kobe Bryant getting to the Lakers
“I think there’s a place for analytics and I love what it’s able to determine numerically in certain categories … but I look at it as just one of the ingredients in the basket of some of the things that aren’t quantifiable per se.” – Kevin Weekes on how scouts weight analytics and intangibles in the draft process
About Class is in Session: A monthly show hosted by Doug Glanville, exploring the intersection between sports and larger society. Each month, Glanville sits down with a distinguished panel of guests, analyzing and providing solutions to the most challenging issues in the world of sports.
Previous episode topics include the lack of minority coaches in sports today (guests Dusty Baker and Herm Edwards), the impact and importance of establishing legacy as an athlete (guests Cameron Maybin, Chris Long and Dr. Edwin Moses), the current state of NCAA amateurism (guests Sonny Vacarro, Prof. Kenneth Shropshire and Dr. Victoria Jackson), MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game (guests Jason Heyward, Curtis Granderson and Ken Rosenthal), the influence of analytics in baseball (guests Bill James, Sarah Langs and Jimmy Rollins) and patriotism in sports (guests Bobby Valentine, Kevin Blackistone and Tom Murray).
About Doug Glanville: Glanville, a nine-year MLB veteran, is a Marquee Sports Network analyst and the host of “Class is in Session with Doug Glanville” presented by UI Health, a half-hour panel show exploring the intersection between sports and larger society. Glanville was selected by the Cubs in the first round of the 1991 MLB draft and made his major league debut with Chicago in 1996. After spending five-plus seasons with Philadelphia and Texas, he returned to the Cubs in 2003 and hit a go-ahead triple in the 11th inning of Game Three of the NLCS against the Marlins. He was the first African American Ivy League graduate to play in the MLB.
A writer and multi-media journalist, Glanville is a frequent contributor to numerous outlets, including ESPN, the New York Times and The Athletic, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. His “Enough” video essay was nominated for a 2021 Sports Emmy Award (The Dick Schaap Outstanding Writing Award – Short Form) by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Glanville is the author of The Game From Where I Stand, an inside look at the human side of the game of baseball, and is outspoken on topics relating to the human condition, including culture, diversity, overcoming adversity, and community-building. He also teaches a course at the University of Connecticut titled “Sport in Society.” The highly praised course examines the relationship between sports, celebrity, and its impact on society. Glanville is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.