If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had his way, the 2017 NBA Draft would be the last time 19-year-olds would be able to enter the NBA. If the players association had its way, 18-year-olds would be eligible to play in the NBA starting in 2018.
Silver again is pushing the “let’s not allow any players into the league before the age of 20” talking point. Silver wants the National Basketball Players Association to join with the league and study the positive side of having players enter the league at the age of 20.
Once again, the adults who are the guardians of the money vault are at work. The NCAA cannot stand the thought of losing a talented 18-year-old after one season even though the NBA doesn’t want the player.
There has been a notion in the past from the college guardians that the talented 18 year olds should kept from playing in their freshmen year and should go to class before playing because they are students first even though freshmen players help the NCAA get billions of dollars from TV.
Silver said he hears from college coaches and athletic directors that one and done doesn’t work for them which may suggest that Silver and the NCAA would like to work hand-in-hand to change the system. It all comes down to money. The NBA wants a more finished product to evaluate and pay, the NCAA wants to develop and keep stars that generate more interest so the colleges can get more sponsorship money. The player should be happy for a chance at playing and maybe a college education.
The NCAA claims it is all about education, after all the player is a student-athlete. The NCAA’s education argument is dubious at best. The star players are in college to hone their basketball skills and can always get an education at any time if they want.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.