Prime Time League ends after 32 years

After 32 years, Prime Time League founder and head Randy Larson has announced that there will be no league games this summer.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Ben S

Iowa's Jack Nunge goes for a lay up during tonight's Prime Time game at North Liberty Community Center on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Playoffs for Prime Time begin on Sunday with the league hosting its final game on July 23 (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Prime Time, the offseason basketball league in which Iowa and Northern Iowa players could showcase their talent, has run its last fast break.

Randy Larson, the league’s founder and director, on June 14 announced that the league will not take place this summer. The announcement came in reaction to the NCAA’s changing its rules regarding player-coach interaction during the summer.

“With the opportunity created by an NCAA rule change to have four hours of practice together each week in the summer and another four hours of individual skill work with the players, there just isn’t a need for [the summer league],” Larson said in a release. “When we started 32 years ago, college coaches couldn’t even watch their players scrimmage. Now, they can actually coach them all summer, which is great for the players.”

Larson said that he “completely” agreed with Iowa’s and UNI’s views.

“Between summer-school classes and homework, strength and conditioning workouts, and now eight hours of either practice or skill drills, the coaches at Iowa and UNI concluded that their players were just being asked to do too much,” Larson said in the release. “They correctly wanted the summer to still be the offseason, albeit one with much more development than it used to have, when coaches didn’t get to help the players improve.”

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery thanked Larson for his efforts in maintaining the league’s success throughout the years.

“I want to personally thank Randy Larson for his incredible efforts organizing and running the Prime Time League for over three decades,” McCaffery said in a release. “Randy did a great job helping young players develop during the summer. The league was his idea, and he loved doing it. Thank you to the fans, staff, and coaches who supported the league. This joint decision is a reflection of the recent changes to the student-athletes’ time demands over the summer with the additional strength and conditioning and skill development sessions, as well as summer-school classes.”

Last season, Iowa’s Jack Nunge was named the Prime Time MVP after averaging 31.5 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.

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