An outbreak of common sense?

I’m shocked – not in the Captain Renault sense, either – that the NBA is considering a tradeoff like this:

In the dispute over what should be done about age limits for players coming out of college basketball and entering the draft, expect the NBA’s D-League to become a major battlefield.

According to multiple sources, a proposed plan that is circulating now would see the age limit extended from its current position — one year after high school graduation — to three years, essentially barring most players from entering the NBA until they are 20 or 21…

The sources said that, in order to pave the way for raising the age limit, the league would be willing to expand salaries in the D-League, giving each team a salary cap and allowing executives with each team to sign players as they wish. Not only would that allow D-League teams to sign good young players, it would allow NBA clubs to size up young executives and player evaluators…

The idea behind the potential change is that, while the NBA wants to keep out players who are viewed as too young, it does not want to deny them the chance to make a living…

Logical and fair.  Which probably means it has zippo chance of becoming reality.  But, damn, if I were the NCAA, I’d be getting behind this proposal quick and hard.  It’s a golden opportunity to drain some of the hypocrisy out of the amateurism swamp.

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UPDATE:  Not so fast, says John Infante.

There’s two ways to look at college athletics: as private enterprise or a government program. Either way, changes to professional draft rules do very little to help the NCAA justify its position. As private enterprise, it still needs to establish why antitrust law should not apply, especially to an activity easily categorized as price fixing, not to mention the moral arguments raised both for and against amateurism. As a government program, college athletics should continue held to the even higher standard of fulfilling an important function and doing so in a fair way to the maximum number of people. The NBA offering a different route to even hundreds of players does little to help the NCAA in either case.

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13 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

13 responses to “An outbreak of common sense?

  1. Normaltown Mike

    Sounds like a great idea.

    Let’s hope they don’t screw it up somehow

  2. Sanford222view

    Wow! If this were to happen I might actually become interested in college basketball again. I used to love it when you grew to know the teams as they had basically the same roster for several seasons in a row.

    • Bulldog Joe

      Agree. This could revive interest in college basketball’s regular season and conference tournaments.

  3. By Georgia We Did It

    Too good to be true because it makes way too much sense. I like it.

  4. I’d love this system in every sport. You can go to the pros out of high school, but if you go to college, it’s a min of a 3-year commitment. Doubt it happens, though.

  5. Silver Creek Doug

    The NBA needs to follow the MLB model; turn pro out of HS or stay in college for 3 years. This sounds like a slight modification to that sentiment; we’ll see how far it gets.

  6. Seems reasonable to me – too bad the NFL will never go for it

    • BigDawg

      Nor should it…. Football is an entirely different animal. No 18 year old kid is ready for professional football right out of high school.

      • A developmental league route is what the NBA is talking about – this would be a route for those athletes that don’t want to attend college and meet the academic requirements. The NFL could do this, but it’s a money loser so it won’t happen.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Well, if you mean the NFL, you are probably rigtt, but that does not strike me as our decision to make. But AA Iowa City and perhaps a gig selling cars in the summer…,well, why not?

        The other thing I feel we forget is, if there are kids who are merely decent football players but truly horrible students, should they not have the freedom to play a few years of 1A ball and not torture themselves in, say, junior college if the market will support it?

  7. Cosmic Dawg

    Logicaler and fairer, except this part:

    “giving each team a salary cap”