by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Josh Edwards writes for the Martin Center about how the National Basketball Association could make a change that would help colleges.
It is increasingly apparent that college basketball serves as an unofficial minor league for the National Basketball Association (NBA) rather than as an extracurricular activity for students. And it is not by accident, but by design.
Take the NBA’s “one-and-done” rule, for instance. It has sparked debate since its addition to the 2005 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). It states that all players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the NBA draft and, unless the player isn’t American, at least one year removed from high school. In the past, players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant could go directly to the NBA after high school. But now, other stars like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Ayton have been required to play a year in college.
The one-and-done rule serves the needs of the professional league rather than creating a mutually beneficial policy between players, professional teams, and colleges. …
… The NCAA had no say in the matter. The NBA can simply state who is eligible to play in their league and who is not.
However, all that could change in the not-too-distant future based on recent comments made by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. In July, Silver acknowledged the considerable discussion to replace the current one-year-in-college mandate with an 18-year-old minimum age rule. “My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change. It won’t come immediately, but…we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18,” Silver said after meeting with the league’s owners.