May 20, 2010

If It's Broken, Fix It!

There has been a lot of to-do about the NBA draft since the NCAA season ended and the NBA Lottery was this last week. Personally, there's no professional sport I hate more than the "Association". The players who once worked their asses off in high school and college just jog and relax. The dominating players do so because they can shoot better, or jump a little higher. I'm not saying there aren't athletes in the NBA, they make me look But something happens when money (given in the open...NCAA players at certain schools get plenty of money) becomes a factor.
Here's what I'm trying to say. Allow players to go directly to the NBA from high school, or make the requirement more than just one year in college. Saying that a player needs to play college ball to prepare for pro ball is just asinine. Lebron didn't need a year in college to be imposing. Kobe skipped college, too. Plenty of players did. And if they can't compete, they won't be drafted. If they're not drafted, they'll go to college.
If ANYONE with ANY sort of authority thought college was necessary, more than one year would be required. How is it fair to tell the pretty good ball player he can't have a scholarship because, for example, John Wall needs to play for a year. Is he paying attention in class? Is he staying up late studying? No. He's thinking about money. And what lies ahead. 
College baseball requires players to either skip right to the pros, or play three years of collegiate ball before going to the pros. I like what that says. You either come with purpose and intent, or stay the hell away. People like Wall (I feel like I'm picking on him here, but he's the most recent example) show up, make a dance, and leave.
The biggest problem I have that's so overlooked is the absolute lack of responsibility these guys then have to their actions. Coach A and Coach B can recruit Player C to play for Team A and Team B respectively. If Player C knows Coach A can offer some incentive, say booster money or what have you, he's going to choose Team A. How do I know for sure you ask? What consequences does Player C have? Does he have a fine? No. Does he have to vacate personal wins? No. Is he banned from college basketball? No. He's off in the NBA making millions, while an entire university suffers. Scholarships, ones that were probably destined for decent four year players who obviously wouldn't get them over a star player, are taken away from the athletic program. In some extreme cases, the athletic program is forced to pay fines which takes even more money away from other athletes who had nothing to do with Player C.

I've come to accept the fact that life will never be perfect. Wars will still be fought. People will die. Money will  rule the world. But for the love of sports, SOMEONE needs to stop the NBA from ruining amateur sports. Someone needs to grow a pair down at NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis and say enough is enough. No one should be turned away from a paycheck. If Player C wants to play in the NBA, by all means let him. But he if chooses not to, he shouldn't then be allowed to do whatever he wants like under the current system.

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