Hone this, jerkoff.

John Infante sees a clash coming.

The NBA and the union are studying the age limit with a possible move to 20 years-old and two years out of high school. The NCAA is mulling reductions in the number of basketball games and has already passed new initial eligibility requirements that may sideline for a year many of the players the NBA was looking to get extra time to evaluate.

The NBA isn’t the slightest bit worried about whether kids are sufficiently mature, either physically or emotionally, to handle life as a pro.  This is all about calibrating the period as to when their skills have been sufficiently prepared to be able to contribute to the team which drafts them.  So why pussyfoot around, NCAA?  Go the whole enchilada and reinstate freshman ineligibility for college basketball.  It’s not as if most of those kids couldn’t use the extra time to acclimate themselves to college.

I’m being facetious, of course.  But I really don’t get why the NCAA doesn’t adopt the signing standards already in place for baseball (sign straight out of high school or wait until after junior year in college) across the board and challenge the NBA and NFL to go along.  No, they wouldn’t have to, but they’d take a tremendous PR hit for failing to do so.  They’d own the NCAA’s plantation.

About these ads

33 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

33 responses to “Hone this, jerkoff.

  1. TCD

    I like the baseball model. However, I think for that to be feasible, a minor league for the NBA is needed. Maybe expand the NBDL. Let’s face it, not everyone is suited for 3 years at college. And for those that aren’t LeBron or Kobe, it would be good to allow them some time to mature and hone their game.

    • Baseball also has the exception where if you don’t want to be locked in, there’s always JUCO.

      But it could be a boost for the NBDL as you say.

  2. Mike

    I like the baseball model too. As an aside, don’t college football players have to be in the program for three years before they can go pro?

  3. Adam

    Blutarsky – how do you feel about the hockey model – drafted at 18 and the team retains your rights until June of the year you leave college?

    This way the Lebron Jameses and Kevin Garnetts can head straight to the NBA when their rights holding team says they’re ready and less prepared/polished players can leave when they’re ready, be it 1, 2, or 3 years. There isn’t any draft order guessing and prospects know the contract they’re signing when they leave school. I’m not sure I see the necessity for a 3-year waiting period.

    In my eyes, the benefit the hockey model is allowing basketball players to evaluate their pro prospects without having to make an all-or-nothing decision and potentially end up without a real contract for any kind of significant money AND no degree. Regardless, I agree that either the baseball or hockey models would be a dramatic improvement from the system in place now.

    • From the players’ standpoint, the baseball model is far superior to that of hockey, but if we’re talking about the NCAA, as you say, either is superior to what it faces now.

      • Adam

        Can you explain why baseball is far superior to the hockey model?

        I’m not arguing – just curious. It seems like having more choices for the student athlete would be superior rather than ‘go now or wait’. What are the benefits of a system where you either don’t attend college or have a mandatory three-year waiting period rather than leaving when ready?

        Doesn’t that tip the scale to a lot of poor, urban basketball players taking the chance on going to the draft out of high school?

        • Because you’re locked into one team with hockey. If a baseball team drafts you and doesn’t sign you, you go back in the pot.

          • If this were another forum, I bet it would be fun to debate with you how people in America accept our professional sports leagues models with no reservation yet complain about players holding out/refusing to sign with the teams that drafted them (John Elway comes to mind) when the entire concept of a draft is completely different than any other industry’s labor market where the workers have zero choice in where they work.

            I understand that the point of the draft is to provide parity so that the teams from New York/Boston/LA wouldn’t get every star player because of their vast resources, but then again nobody complains when (to use an analogy close to home) firms like Deloitte and E&Y sign all the best and brightest accounting students from the best schools to come work for them and the local accounting firms are left standing with the C+ students from Kennesaw State.

            • It’s not just that. Professional sports leagues are unique in that while they’re based on competition, there’s also a need to level the playing field in obtaining talent to foster that competition. Or at least that’s what they tell us.

              The real reason they do it is to restrain the cost of signing that talent initially, for rich and poor teams alike.

              • The real reason they do it is to restrain the cost of signing that talent initially, for rich and poor teams alike.

                Well yeah, and the difference between a professional sports league and my accounting firm example is that in principal the teams within the league are a cooperative that realize working together is more profitable (general rule does not apply to those with the last name Steinbrenner) for everybody and aren’t as intensely in direct competition like the accounting firms are. In other words, just because the Yankees went out and spent tons of money on CC Sabathia a few years ago, it didn’t impact the shared TV revenues between them and the Milwaukee Brewers (his former team) at all. Now if Deloitte went out and poached the Coca-Cola account from E&Y there would be a substantial impact to both firms, one positively and one negatively.

                My point was that I just find it hilarious that people rip the hell out of the athletes for holding out after being drafted and whatnot, but if GM workers go on strike because of some inequity caused by management trying to keep labor costs low, the general public would usually side with the workers and deride management for being cheap.

            • wingdawg

              I think the outcome of that debate depends on whether each league is considered a company or whether each team is considered a company.

          • And being locked in to a team, how much influence would that team exert? Would they tell you to go to a certain school, and a certain coach? If injuries occur, who’s doctors are making the evaluations and saying when a kid can play again?

            • No. But it makes it easier for them to set the terms of the contract.

              • In terms of basketball, where shoe companies already exert plenty of influence on school choice, I almost guarantee that if NBA teams could draft kids out of high school but not sign them for a year or two, they would be placing kids with their coach/school of choice.

  4. Cojones

    They don’t go unless selected and if the fruit ain’t ripe for picking, many NBA teams can’t take on the risk they won’t pan out. Seems to me that they would only pick those like Kobe and let the colleges develop or select out others. Now, if they wish to put their tabs on a player, they can do it in two years and get him instantly after his Jr year. That would have the NBA teams bidding for a guy and lift the worth of the player.

    What’s wrong with eligibility as in football. If they don’t make the roster in the NBA, they still can get a life if 2-3 yrs of elibibility is left on the table. Why should their life get destroyed because the NBA team makes a mistake? They get the best of all worlds; a possible college degree and a second chance at the Pros.

  5. wingdawg

    The NCAA doesn’t adopt the baseball model for basketball and football b/c the NCAA isn’t in charge of the baseball model (MLB is).

    • I know that. It wouldn’t stop the NCAA from adopting it as its official preference, though. If the pros don’t go along, it would become their PR problem.

      • wingdawg

        So mount a PR campaign informing everyone they want the NBA and the NFL to adopt the MLB model?

        I guess they could do that. Not sure how much of an effect it would have but it might be successful. I really have no idea.

        But would there really be a point in dragging the NFL through the mud? The NFL already requires you to be 3 years removed from high school.

    • They aren’t in charge of any of them. MLB sets that rule, and the NFL sets its rule, same as the NBA sets theirs.

  6. Cojones

    Did the NCAA vote to raise the academic readiness standards in Jan? I missed the 2.3 GPA raise level and the requirement for core subjects that are to be in place next year. How many possible recruits does this impact in high school and entering UGA? It looks to me like they were on the right track academically and following them toward graduation. So much for the fluff subjects. I didn’t realize that athletes don’t have to take core math and English either in preparation for or when entering The University. Perhaps that’s because we required them already and others will now be brought up to speed? So many questions, so little time.

  7. wingdawg

    I stopped reading the Infante article when he started talking about how college basketball could still be successful without pre-NBA players. Successful? Depends on your definition of successful. The product would definitely suffer and lose fans b/c of it.

    The college basketball game has already deteriorated immensely over the last 15 years due to players leaving so early. That’s a huge reason why many people stopped following the regular season and now only follow the tournament. Get rid of more of the little talent that is left and watch it go down the tubes even more.

    • The college basketball game has already deteriorated immensely over the last 15 years due to players leaving so early. That’s a huge reason why many people stopped following the regular season and now only follow the tournament.

      I have to admit that I’ve never understood this reasoning. Why would fans care less about the talent in the postseason than during the regular season?

      Also, there was a period when kids could jump from high school directly to the NBA. By your reasoning, there should be more interest in CBB now than previously. I’m curious if that’s the case. Do you know?

      • Mg4life0331

        I dont think hes saying he cares less about the talent in the postseason than the regular season. I think hes just saying that since players leave so early, you never really get to see them develop and dominate. Offseason hits and you gotta pick a new player to watch, or just turn it on when March Madness hits.

  8. wingdawg

    Fans care less about talent in the postseason b/c the postseason is only 3 weeks long. The regular season is 4 months long. Make the postseason 4 months long and see if the postseason suffers the same fate.

    Before the late 90s, very few players went straight from HS to the NBA, just as very few left college before their junior seasons. Once they started jumping to the NBA earlier and earlier, the quality of play suffered and fan familiarity of teams went way down. That is one of the reasons people have stopped paying attention to the regular season. It may be the biggest reason.

    The main period where kids jumped from HS directly to the NBA was 96-04. Is college basketball more popular now than it was during those 9 years? Probably not. But having players participate for one season instead of none isn’t going to have much of an impact anyway. The biggest issue is that the best players aren’t around for their junior and senior seasons. That wasn’t the case 20 years ago. Sure, you can point out the rare exceptions (Moses Malone, Shawn Kemp, Chris Webber) but those are few and far between.

    • wingdawg

      Senator, this was meant as a reply to your reply above at 11:06am.

    • Connor

      I have to respectively disagree about the cause of fan apathy toward the regular season. In my opinion it’s due to the slow realization that the regular season doesn’t actually count. The combination of conference tournaments with automatic bids and a 68 team tournament after that means that regular seaons performance is irrelevant. Once you come to view the college basketball games from November to mid-March as the equivalent of the NFL preseason or MLB spring training, you stop watching.

      • wingdawg

        I respect that point of view. Maybe it’s a combo effect. However, if it is, I still lean towards thinking the bigger factor is fan unfamiliarity with teams/players due to players not sticking around to be upperclassmen, as well as just the reduction in the overall quality of basketball caused by the same thing. The reason I think that way is that the tourney expanded to 64 (up from 53) in 1985 and I don’t remember hearing anything about less interest in the regular season until the late 90s/early 00s. On top of that, between 1975 and 1985, the tourney expanded from 25 to 64 teams. That throws an extra decade in there for people to realize that the regular season didn’t mean much. Maybe it took people a really long time to realize it and it just happened to coincide with the “leaving school early” trend. Maybe not.

        • Connor

          I think you have to look at the expansion of the not just the NCAA tourney, but the conference tournaments as well. Those did not all exist 20 years ago. The Big 10 and Pac 10 only started them in the last 10 years. Many, such as the Big East, have expanded. At this point, virtually every team in Division 1, no matter their record, enters a single elimination conference tournament with a bearth on the NCAA on the line. In that scenario, regular season wins and losses just don’t mean much. Connecticut was a middle of the pack Big East team last year (9-9 in confernce in the regular season) and the 9th seed in the conference tourney. They got hot, won the Big East and then the whole thing. Kudos. The fact that they lost 4 of their last 5 games before the conference tournament didn’t mean much. People eventually stop watching games that don’t mean much.

        • Cojones

          Count me as one who feels like WingDawg expresses. That and officiating (getting my angst up) are the reasons I don’t follow college BBall players and games during the regular season. Gimme a face and personality to cheer on makes a difference. Different strokes.

  9. shane#1

    I just watched the NCAA Bball finals as UK with 5 NBA players including possibly one or two lottery picks beat a team of juniors and seniors. Let’s get real, why should a kid cost himself millions by staying in school? I would rather hit the lottery than have a PHD. By all means have a NFL farm system. Why punish kids by forcing them to play for free and take the risk of a career ending injury when they could be in the minors and make a living? Richt considers himself an educator, why not let him teach the guys that want an education and let the rest make a living? NCAA basketball and football have nothing to do with education.