Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Z_CNHI News Service

April 22, 2014

Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

Adam Silver, the new commissioner of the National Basketball Association, scored a public relations victory when he came out in strong support of raising the league’s minimum age to 20 years old – a move that would have talented collegians spending at least two years on campus before heading off to the pros.

If adopted – and a change is probably forthcoming – it will end the “one-and-done” era of players who dipped a toe in college basketball before opting for the big pay and prestige of the NBA.

That could be a good or bad thing, depending on who you are.

College administrators and coaches would celebrate. Owners of pro teams would see it as a strategic business move. Those select older teenagers with the ability to score bundles of points might see it as a roadblock to going to work and realizing instant wealth.

The argument over drafting 19 year olds isn’t new. What’s changed is that Silver wants the league to reconsider the position hammered out with the NBA Players Association in 2005.

This is a strange time for basketball fans who watch players come fresh out of high school to help their college teams advance in the NCAA tournament. Those fans must then sit around and stew, wondering if there will be a repeat performance the next year.

Some collegians declare for the NBA draft before fans can say, "But we hardly got to know you," as visions of championship banners evaporate before their eyes.

Even Kentucky’s John Calipari, who has churned out 13 one-and-dones dating back to his days in Memphis, said the system isn’t a good one. It robs young players of a chance to taste life before falling into a work regimen that lasts a lifetime.

A friend who experienced basketball at all levels once said to me, “High school was for fun. College basketball became a job. The pros were all business.”

Calipari seconded the point during the recent NCAA tournament: "Enjoy the college experience, enjoy the college environment, because the rest of it is work."

Jabari Parker, the star freshman at Duke, will likely be the No. 1 selection in this summer’s NBA draft. He’s a proven talent. The question is whether he's ready to become president and chairman of the board of Jabari Parker Inc. Sure, he can score inside and out. But can he run his own business, day in and day out?

A review of how most pro athletes handle their money suggests not. Wouldn’t it make more sense for gifted student athletes to be offered classes and experiences to help them manage the assets they'll acquire? There’s nothing worse than seeing a former pro whose playing days are over and whose wealth is gone.

Of course, some argue that players' right to seek gainful employment, even if they're still in high school, is being infringed. That's also true. History has shown there are some young players who’ve only had a driver’s license for a year or two, and who are good enough to play with the men.

Maybe there should be a baseball-type exemption that allows them to be drafted, even if they need a year or two in a developmental league. That’s what the NBA would like to see – an expanded minor league where the number of teams would increase, as would the minimal salaries the players currently receive.

Nothing will happen, however, until the NBA Players Association names a new president. That’s when the negotiating and trading will begin.

No changes are imminent, and they may not be until the existing contract expires in 2017.

Even when something happens, college basketball won’t return to the day when most star players spent four years in school, pursuing a degree as well as a professional contract. Maybe in years to come they’ll get to develop their skills and become savvy enough to handle their good fortune.

We could call them one-and-then-some players.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

 

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Stocks
Facebook