So, imagine for a second that you are one of the best basketball players of your generation, like we’re talking pretty much at the same level as the pros, and then you find out that for eligibility reasons you have to play one year in the NCAA before you can play in the NBA. One year. That literally makes zero sense. There are two sides to the disagreement of the policy, here’s why:
First off, the rule forces many people to join college basketball, when they just don’t want to and are good enough to make it to the pros. Players like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, made it into the NBA without playing college basketball and look where that has taken them now. I do not know how great of students both of them were yet nonetheless they made it through high school. But let’s imagine that they had to go to college shortly after and that they were not good students. This could cause them to fail some of their classes, resulting in ineligibility to play college ball. By failing their classes, they would be forced to stay longer, losing more and or never getting professional experience. The very own “Mamba” and “King James” might not even exist in the professional basketball world.
The other side of the disagreement is”If they are already getting a year of college in, why not force them to finish and at least get a degree?” This is completely understandable. If education is important to society why would they only require one year of it for their players? Being an athlete myself, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to play and train for sports, while taking classes, all at the college level. So most athletes must not take a whole lot of classes. That means in one year they cannot get very much done, probably the most that they can get in that time span is half an associate degree. Many college athletes that get drafted in the NBA don’t stay there all their career, so they need a back-up plan. Who knows, maybe they are broke after their basketball career and can’t even pay for the next 1+ years in college. The NBA needs to recognize that this problem is created and might single out people with lower incomes, resulting of lack of success later in life.
The NBA is working on legislation that would fix this issue, however this change is going by very slow. According to Deadspin, bare minimum this change is looking around two years before being implemented. That is not good for really talented high-school, soon to be college players because their education won’t count much for anything AND they will have to miss out on a professional season of basketball if this stays the same!
By no means am I a hater of NCAA basketball or college education, I love them both. However, this rule is quite aggravating to serious basketball athletes and fans, and will continue to be until it gets changed to a rule that makes more sense.