Now that the college basketball season is over, some players will move into the next phase of their basketball lives by deciding on whether or not they should enter the NBA draft. One of the issues that has plagued the NBA for a number of years is the number of players entering the NBA either right after high school, or within 1 year of high school. Beginning in 2006, the NBA instituted a requirement that players be 19 years old and 1 year removed from high school. The purpose was to allow incoming players more time to gain experience, to improve the NBA’s current level of play, and to keep high school busts from tying up team salary. The resulting affect…a new form of “consulting.”
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting, or you love the movie Office Space, then you’re familiar with Consultants. They are temporary employees, hired to work on a specific project for a specific amount of time. In many cases, they don’t get many of the company benefits and if a better long term solution comes along, they are fast out the door. SOUND FAMILIAR? The NBA’s “1 and done” rule has essentially created college “consultants” at the risk of universities and students nationwide.
It is well known that many of these players are recruited for the purpose of creating a one shot contender, but at what costs. There have been numerous reports of players skipping the entire spring semester, taking gifts & benefits and leaving the university to deal with the NCAA sanctions. Not to mention it has diluted the talent pool in college basketball. Now I’m the last person to cry for the NCAA, but what about the actual “students” who lose a spot at the university because some ball player is in limbo until he turns 19.
The NBA needs to rectify this. Either allow high school students once again, or follow the model of another big league. MLB allows high school entrants, but if a student chooses college they must wait 3 years before entering the league. The NFL’s 3 year policy has been long standing. Now of course the argument has been that a high school basketball player is more pro ready than a football player so why shouldn’t he be able to provide for his family. While that may be true, what’s more important, taking a shot and risk having your career finished before the legal drinking age or taking advantage of the “company benefits” to help ensure your family’s future for the long haul?