Now that the NCAA Basketball tournament is over, it is time for players to decided whether to remain at their respective college/university and play for another year or make themselves eligible for the NBA Draft in June. For the one’s are what is commonly known as the “one and done”, it’s a no brainer on their decision to go pro. My only issue is that it hurts not only the school that he played for because they’re now scrambling for another recruit from high school to fill the void or have someone on the current roster become their saving grace. Yet at the same time, most of the ‘one and done’ athletes don’t become an instant success in the NBA. So, on one hand it would be great to get better quality games from the college level by keeping the talented players to stay longer in school before going pro, refining their skills in the process. And on the same token, the players who feel they’re NBA ready out of high school feel obligated to go to a school to play basketball but don’t care much for the academics, so they skate by the classes and once their year is up, they simply ditch the college scene and try to make a career out of their passion. Something is wrong with the system and it needs to be fixed sooner then later. I have an idea that might just solve the issue college basketball is having.
The high school players get a choice to either go pro immediately or go to college. Here are the stipulations for both choices.
A) By going pro and entering the draft right out of high school, should they be picked, they will not play for the team in which drafted him, but instead will be sent to the team’s developmental squad (known as the NBA Developmental League). The NBA D-league, as it is widely known, serves as a minor league for the NBA to develop players anywhere from drafted players, college standouts, and amateurs. If you want to read more about the NBA D-League, click on the following links: http://www.ehow.com/about_5560902_nbdl-average-salary.html, http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/nbadleague_101.html.
Should players who go pro get paid in this scenario? Yes, they will get paid, but it won’t be as much as the athletes in the NBA. According to the ehow.com I posted above, the salary of a player in the D-league ranges from $12,000-$24,000 a year. So, let’s get theoretical for a second. Let’s say the athlete who comes out of high school decides to go pro and gets drafted, he’ll be sent to the D-League, where he’ll be signed and will be contracted to make about $20,000 a year. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot of money then what he would be expecting, but in doing the math, he’ll earn about 1600 dollars a month, which equates to a little over 10 dollars an hour. The plus to this is that it will teach the athletes to learn financial responsibility. I only say this because there are a number of former professional athletes (not limiting this to the sport of basketball) that have become blown all of their career earnings and become broke in the process. And because of this, Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio coined the term “Another Broke Baller”.
How long should a drafted player remain in the D-League? A minimum of 3 seasons. This will be explained when the college option is explained. The drawback to this option is that the D-League doesn’t get that much exposure television and media wise, giving fans a reason to follow the league, teams or players in it. And as a basketball fan, I don’t really pay attention to the D-league as much as I should. Once the 3 seasons are up, the athlete is eligible to go to the team that drafted him, sign a contract where he’ll make more then his D-League contract and then immediately start playing for that team.
The other option is to attend college and play basketball there on scholarship for 2 years instead of one. While the athlete isn’t getting paid in cash to play for the school, he gets an opportunity to get some of the classes completed in the degree he is interested in.
Why only 2 years compared to the D-league 3 years? In the two years in the college system, the athletes will get more exposure from the media and television, which will make for better quality games knowing that the players will be there for two years, not only making the athletes better through the development of the coaches but will make conference and rivalry games that much more intense with two years of talent facing each other. After the two years are up, the players have the option to remain at their respective school or become eligible for the NBA draft, where they can play immediately instead of going to the D-League first.
So in short, players that come out of high school can go pro right away and get paid but must remain in basketball’s ‘minor league’ for 3 years, or go to college where the money being paid to the players come in the form of a scholarship, where they go to school and play for two years. For the athletes, it’s a tough decision to make. For the coaches, it’s great knowing the young men they recruit will be on their roster for not just one year.
I welcome any thoughts, ideas, suggestions to this proposition.