No Education Required!
It’s nice to have a commissioner that actually cares about the future of their sport. Time and time again we have seen Bud Selig slowly destroy the integrity and quality of Major League Baseball. David Stern has definitely had his fair share of people who dislike him and disagree with a lot fo his decisions, hence the reason for this years strike-shortened season, but I personally feel that Stern has made some great strides since he became Commissioner in 1984 succeeding Larry O’Brien. Stern has been praised for the NBA building popularity through the 90’s and 2000’s. Unfortunately, wanting whats good for the NBA and getting whats good for the NBA are two different things.Recently, Stern has been focused on changing the current NBA “Age Rule” by increasing it from 19 to 20. The current “Age Rule” is that a player must be at least 19 years of age and one full year removed from High School to enter the NBA Draft. There is a HUGE problem here. There is no requirement of College anywhere in the rule. High School graduates can either take a year off or play overseas or even play in the NBA’s D-League. To me, this is completely unacceptable. David Stern stresses the fact that he wants players to wait an extra year for experience and denies any correlation to College being the reason. Stern stated that “the league’s draft requirement is often misreported as forcing players to spend a year in college.” He then went on to say, “That’s not our rule, our rule is that they won’t be eligible for the draft until they’re 19. They can play in Europe, they can play in the D-League, they can go to college. This is a not a social program, this is a business rule for us. The NFL has a rule which requires three years of college. So the focus is often on ours, but it’s really not what we require in college. It’s that we say we would like a year to look at them and I think it’s been interesting to see how the players do against first-class competition in the NCAAs and then teams have the ability to judge and make judgments, because high-ranking draft picks are very, very valuable.”
I think that this rule has to change sooner than later. After the Kentucky Wildcats won, maybe the easiest and least surprising NCAA Title, you can expect to see their two star players, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, become the #1 and #2 draft picks in 2012 and add to the list on the recent super-star “one-and-done” NBA players. In 4 out of the past 5 seasons, the NBA has had a College Freshman drafted #1 overall including MVP Derrick Rose, John Wall and this years future Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. This NBA “Age Rule” is causing talented High School athletes to basically use College as a one year stop for an NBA future with no intention of valuing the free education that most people would kill for.
With superstar millionaires like Lebron James, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant proving that College is not necessary for NBA success, there needs to be players stepping up and stressing the value of education. I think someone like Tim Duncan, who attended 4 years of college and has built a Hall of Fame career with multiple accolades, should step up and speak to these future NBA players and express the importance of developing an education…especially when it’s being handed to you for free! ESPN posted a poll asking, “should the NBA add a year to its draft age rule?,” and over 62,000 people responded with 70% saying yes. I seem to be with the majority on this topic and was wondering what everyone else thinks about the rule. Let us know how you feel.