Okay, let's get a few things out in the open here: First, I'm eating hashbrowns right now. This is not significant, but they are delicious. Okay, now let's get something else strait: Jeffrey is a great college basketball mind. Heck, he's just a great sports mind. He's the smartest guy I know when it comes to sports and it's not even close. I am, of course, not counting myself. But even if I were, my previous statement would still be true. Why he chooses to share a sports blog with the likes of yours truly is beyond me.
Lastly, he is right. It has been far too long since I've dropped some sporting opinions on our non-paying public.
Jeff mentioned something in passing that has been bugging me for the past week or so, and that is the issue of the NBA enforcing a minimum age requirement something like the NFL has where a player must be out of high school for 3 years.
Obviously the NBA has been inundated with high school players in recent years. It is the opinion of several people, including myself, that the influx of high school players into the NBA has diluted the talent of the pro game and has hurt the college game as well. I do, however, believe that the NBA is affected far more negatively by this. As Jeffrey so eloquently stated, "the Madness will roll on whether the best players stay in college or not," but the NBA is far more diluted.
So onto the issue of imposing a minimum age. On the "for" side of the coin, some people might say that you cannot become an accountant, a doctor or an executive without a college education, so why should a young kid be allowed to enter a professional arena without similar credentials. We all know this is a ludicrous argument. We aren't talking about people curing diseases or even doing your taxes here. We are talking about grown men playing a game, and let's be honest, they don't need an education to play it.
On the con side of the argument, I've heard sports talk folk say that the NBA should not impose an age minimum because they do not have the right to tell these kids that they cannot use their talent to make a living right out of high school. This is specifically what I would like to talk about.
This issue of high school kids going strait into the pros gets a little bit out of hand because the only thing that is ever talked about is the players, and while the players are obviously the most major part of this debate, what seems to be forgotten by many people is that this is also about professional sports, and professional sports is a business. Plain and simple.
You see, the reason that the NFL has a minimum age requirement, and why the NBA is considering one, isn't because they don't think the high school kids don't have a right to use their talent to make a living. And it's not even because they don't think high school kids are physically or mentally prepared to be in the pros.
Let's go back to why the accountant has to have an education to perform their job argument. It's possible that there is someone out there who is ridiculously talented in the area of accounting because they have worked hard to learn it on their own. They might even be more talented than your average CPA, but they do not have an education in accounting. An accounting firm is not going to hire this individual no matter how talented they are, and it's not because this person doesn't have a right to use his talent to earn a living, it's because the accounting firm, as a business, has a right to protect its interest, and part of protecting its interest as a professional firm is hiring individuals with college educations.
Professional sports (maybe unfortunately) is a business, and as a business the NFL and the NBA have a right to protect the product that the put before the public to buy. If they believe that their sport, their product, is more competitive and more healthy by requiring athletes to be a certain age before they enter the professional arena, they have the right to do so.
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