Stern and Brand ponder new age limit rule

  • 04/07/2008 1:07 pm in

brand2.jpgA report this morning by Jeff Goodman of says that NBA commissioner David Stern and NCAA President Myles Brand are in agreement that both entities would benefit from a new rule requiring players to stay in college for two seasons.

According to sources, the proposal would still need to be passed through the NBA Players Association.

“It’s a big step for the owners and the commissioner to say they’re ready to bargain in good faith to get the rule passed,” said one college coach who wished to remain anonymous. “The NBA is willing to give up something to get this rule passed; we just don’t know what it is yet.”

The NBA adopted a 19-year-old age limit through the collective bargaining agreement which expires in 2010-11.

Since the NBA put the current age restriction in place, I’ve always felt it either needed to be two years (or more) or done away with completely. If you’re going to require players to attend college, get in line with college football and college baseball and make it a three year out of high school rule. All the current rule has done is create the phrase “one and done.”

There will always be those who argue that players should be able to jump directly to the NBA from high school and they’ll throw out the success stories of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett and countless others. For every Bryant, McGrady and Garnett, there’s a Lenny Cooke, Korleone Young and DeAngelo Collins. Guys who would have benefited greatly from college but instead tested the NBA waters and got burned.

So what are your thoughts on the current rule and this new proposal? Do you agree with having an age limit rule to enter the NBA or should players have a right to enter the league immediately following high school?  Thoughts are welcome in the comments.

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  • HoosierSmitty

    It's a mixed bag. I'd like to see kids going to college and getting at least two year's worth of an education. That might make them a little bit more likely to finish that degree, even if they go pro…ala Vince Carter, Juwan Howard…

    It'd also be nice to have a player committed to your program for at least two years. However, there's always the question of whether or not the kid is ready. And if he's ready, he shouldn't be forced to stay if it's not going to make him any better. You're forcing a kid to take a chance on injury when he could be making millions in the league.

    I would argue with anyone that thinks kids can go straight to the pros. Very few have the maturity level and life experience needed to succeed as a professional. They might have the skills, but they lack in public speaking and ability to manage the stresses associated with such a high profile profession.

    I would have to agree with the statement that if there's going to be a rule, it should at least be two years, or not have the rule at all.

  • tberry

    I don't see how remaining in school one more year will really change anything. If a player wants an education they should stay long enough to get their degree. If they simply want to go into the NBA, they should go there directly. I think it should be four years or no years. If the NBA wants to use college as a developmental league then they should leave players in college until they get a degree. Development in exchange for a education sound more than fair to me.

  • B_MD

    “For every Bryant, McGrady and Garnett, there’s a Lenny Cooke, Korleone Young and DeAngelo Collins.”

    I disagree with this statement. There are a handful of players that made the wrong call and didn't make it, but the majority of high school direct to NBA players have been successful. Most have actually turned out to be all-stars or highly contributing players.

    Disclaimer: I count players like Bender and Miles as having made it. Unpredictable injuries, not talent, railroaded their careers.

  • BrianK

    I think there should be at least a 2 year rule. That 1 more year is to build on the first. It may hold 1 player who is ready but it could help tons more. So many kids think they are ready adn ESPN, scouts, parents etc all help them think that. It doesn't help that the NBA draft has become a “not what you can do now but what you can do later maybe” Having that 2 years will be able to give them a little bit of a better gauge to hwo realistic they are. The funny thing is the NBA player assoc. and agents should want this because it helps the vets and current players but htey are the ones always against it. For every Kobe there are 10 other no names who thught they could do it. Are we that hungry for the next sensation that we would sacrifice all these other kids?

  • The only reason the NBA enacted that law is to cover their own butt. The should be no age restriction. FORCE someone to go to school is ridiculous.

  • B_MD

    Maybe this will happen if the age limit goes to two years, but I'm actually surprised that no one has decided to skip college and sign a contract for a year in Europe or in the NBDL.

    Spend a year in Europe and you get paid, you get life experience and you play against professionals.

  • B_MD

    If you're talking high school direct to NBA guys, there are not 10 no names for every Kobe. If you research it, you'll actually find that there are 10 Kobe's for every no name.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think if the NCAA and NBA are going to make a rule, then make it 4 years and stop being a wuss about it and make it where ALL parties involved (NBA, NCAA, Colleges, and Players) will benefit to a larger extent. This one year rule is a joke and anything less than 3 years is a joke. No one can tell me a kid like an Eric Gordon could not benefit from obtaining a degree, improving himself, and his game which ultimately improves the NCAA game and the NBA game.

  • msdiu81

    Forcing kids to go to college is wrong for any amount of years. Some kids have talent and can go directly to the NBA. Some don't and think they do. Some need some more development, but college will not solve the problem academically. The one and dones this year and last, I would guess, really didn't want to be at the school, but they were there for one reason, they had to be. The NBA should expand the D league and send kids through it much like baseball send kids through the minors. If they expand the league to include a few more teams, it may help. Otherwise the kids should have a chance to go play overseas. The difference between football, baseball and basketball is that more players can make a roster in the NFL and MLB because there are more players per team. The dream for a kid to make the NBA is much tougher to achieve due to fewer players getting in. Maybe HS kids should be afforded the chance that college kids are in regards to testing the waters. Let them announce for the draft and if the NBA says they aren't good enough, then let them enroll at the school they commit to. That could create problems for programs in that they may not be able to count on that player coming, but it would give the kid a chance to see how he stacks up against the best. No easy answer here, but forcing a kid to go to college is wrong.

  • B_MD

    There is no age limit in the NBDL, so theoretically Eric Gordon could have skipped college and signed with the Albuquerque Thunderbird's, then entered the NBA Draft this year.

  • Kelin Blab

    There is nothing with forcing kids to go to college but in this case….these kids chose to to go to college when they could have went to the NBDL, overseas, or stayed at home and worked out at their high school gym until they were old enough.

    Can someone tell me ALLL the bad things that would happen to a kid who has NBA Talent but has to spend 4 years in college maturing academically, emotionally, and athletically………gee what a horrible life…….and to compound that get a crappy degree also……..

  • Disco_Briscoe

    The play and popularity of the NBA sucks. A lot of it has to do with these young physical freaks without basketball knowledge/skill. This rule change would benefit both the NCAA and NBA by limiting the one and done and teaching these kids the game (not street ball, run and gun, and no D). The NBA cant teach the game because of limited practice time and game preperation. They adapt the game to the talent they have and this is the crap you get on the court. Are the older guys (25+) really that bad where a 18/19 yr old can step out there and run the show? The NBA is just for who can run faster and jump higher.

    On the other hand it's hard to deny anyone the chance to make millions, no matter what age you are. If the kids dont want to go to school I say make them play in the minors, D-League. Then they will know whats its like to work and not be given NBA $ and college perks. I'm sure you will see more kids staying in a college program then.

  • 05hoosier

    I don't think anyone should be FORCED to go to college. If a player has the talent and wants to test the waters in the NBA he should be allowed that option. I think the NBA should adopt the same rule as MLB: Players are allowed to make the jump from high school to the pros and are developed in the Minor leagues, much the way the NBA used the NBDL. However, if a player opts to go to school he must commit three years to his institution. This allows players ready to make the jump the option to do so, while stabilizing collegiate athletics by eliminating the “one and done” player.

  • B_MD

    You probably haven't watched much NBA this year. It might be the most competitive and highly played NBA basketball since 1992-93. The west is loaded and the east has probably the two best teams in the league. There are highly competitive games being played on a nightly basis.

    Although, no matter what anyone thinks of the NBA, I have to agree, there is no denying that players coming to the league not ready to contribute has definitely impacted the product on the court in a negative way.

  • splenda

    I would be in favor of the NBA/NCAA adopting the college baseball model. You are free to go from HS to the pros, but if you choose to go to college, you are obligated to stay for three years. A Kobe or a KG should not be forced to go to college when they can clearly play in the NBA and the one-and-done rule really isn't good for either sport. A “if you come, you are here for 3 years” would add much more stability to the college game.

  • B_MD

    I think that's a good way to go as well. I also like that the NBA seems to be expanding the NBDL, and the ability of NBA teams to send players down to their NBDL affiliate was a great rule as well.

  • ALH_00

    This is a difficult issue. I have no idea how an age limit restriction can be entirely consistent with either the “student-athlete” mission of colleges or the realistic “developmental league” character of big-time college basketball. All I can say is that I agree with the idea that kids should not be forced to go to school. And I don't think college basketball should be a developmental league for the NBA, because it is clearly contrary to the mission of a place of higher learning (we all know that doesn't matter though) I just have no idea how to strike a balance. Clearly the one-year rule does not. I don't think a two-year rule will either. I guess I have to fall back on liberatarian laizze faire (sp?) ideology and say that no restriction is the best system.

  • BrianK

    No thats not true either. They tend to do a couple years in NBA then go Europe and play. Seasoning would do them good. 8 were taken in 2004 and 9 i think in 2005 and many aren't around. Jumping early slows maturity and skills they don't learn and develop. At least 2 years in college could help help them develop those. Some of these it might give them a couple more years in the NBA instead of teh one or two before jumping to Europe

  • BrianK

    Whats that kids name that was coming to IU under Davis? He did that.

  • BrianK

    NFL has a 2 year I agree with 100% I don't think that teh NBA should go past that.

  • SteveEyl

    How is this legal? It seems to me that if you are 18 in this country, you can do whatever you want to earn a living.

    And isn't the MLB/minors thing just a reality of thier (still developing) talent? I'm sure people who know more about it than me can name kids who started games in the minors the same summer they graduated from HS.

    I seem to remember M. Clarett loosing a case related to this, but I just can't understand how the NBA has a legal leg to stand on.

    I'm not being argumentative, I really want to understand…

  • splenda

    As long as the requirements are part of the collective bargaining agreement, management/labor are given a much wider legal pass than if the rule was unilaterally laid down by management. The 1-year rule is part of the NBA's CBA.

  • splenda

    I would like to see the NBDL expanded so each NBA franchise has its own NBDL team. I think it could be done as long as the NBDL team was fairly close to its NBA franchise and NBDL schedules were set up to minimize travel costs (i.e., you only play teams in your conference).

  • SteveEyl

    Ah, unions….

  • tberry

    If you think one more year will make any of these guys a Rhodes Scholar, you need to back to school because your in more need than they are.

  • B_MD

    Actually it is true. For the purposes of the argument I'm going to define having success as earning a second contract. 37 players have been drafted direct from high school since 1995 (KG's year).

    31 of the 37 are still in the league. 9 have played in all-star games. Of the 2004-05 high school players I guesstimate that at least 12 of the 15 will earn or have earned second contracts, with Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith and Monta Ellis headlining the group.

    I would argue that only 5 of the 37 haven't or are not projected to sign at least two NBA contracts. That's way better odds than players that went to college.

  • B_MD

    Robert Rothbart. But that kid was really never projected as an NBA player, there was something else going on there.

  • hoosier07

    Anyone recall Josh Smith? Oh yea, we lost him to the NBA five years ago…

  • Ah no. We have age requirements for all kinds of things, like running for President of the US.

    Forget about what is fair, this is all about money. Both Pro and College (although they won't admit it) basketball only care about profits. I think this works well for both of them as College gets an increase in the talent level and the NBA gets a better trained athlete which increases the quality of their product. The NBA would also gain more interest from College fans who would follow their players in the NBA. For example, I really don't feel any attachment to Gordon and won't bother following his career in the Pros. However, if he played another year or two and actually developed into the type of player we thought we were getting then I would tune into his games.

  • splenda

    The Clarett decision even mentions a prior decision involving the NBA:

    “Because these agreements were the result of the federally mandated bargaining process through which the union and the NBA, in light of the unique economic imperatives of professional basketball, negotiated a host of creative solutions to settle their differences, we held that to permit Wood to challenge particular aspects of their agreement on antitrust grounds would “subvert fundamental principles of our federal labor policy.”

    The NBA/NFL/MLB is no different than any other business that has a relationship with a union. You might be the world's best electrician, but if you don't have a certain level of certification, you will find yourself unable to get some jobs because of the union contracts.

  • b_side

    A, we can all come up with slogans/phrases for leaving college early no matter what rule the NBA adopts.

    If it's two years, then we'll start saying “two and thru.”

    If 3 years becomes the standard, then “three and flee.”

    I think if the NBA increases it to two years, there needs to be more education to families about insurance policies. If the NBA wants to institute this to improve the game and give more 10-12th man roles to its veterans, then at least out for the rare occasion when a kid blows his knee out.

  • B_MD

    I think that's in the plan. They;ve already gone from four teams per NBDL team down to about two NBA teams per NBDL team, and there are more NBDL teams coming next year.

  • Kelin Blab

    I hate this entire conversation because what does the NBA have to do with College basketball………..technically nothing. College basketball should focus on student athletes and screw making the NBA game better. Let Stern handle that.

    Let the NBA make whatever rule they like and then let these 10star studs who are ranked on websites that they made themselves decide…..go to college for 4 years, go to the NBDL, go to Greece or work at the Jordan YMCA on the southside of Indy until you are old enough………………

  • MPmike

    Some jobs do have age requirements. In most police departments you have to be at least 21 y/o in order to become a police officer and there is a age cut off. There is a reason for this. It's call maturity. Alot of high school players under the age of 20 are not mature enough to handle certain jobs that's why the experience will help them before their profession.

    The NBA can make it an age limit of 20 y/o and/or two years of playing experience. so this can help players that are older or played in some type of prep school before college.

  • jgongora86

    I think its a great idea. The only condition I would have is that after your two years and you don't get drafted, colleges should be required to accept them back to finish their degrees. Not play b-ball but finish their academics. At least that way they won't be left in the gutter. I have to admit I don't like all these kids going one and done without learning the fundamentals of basketball. They also ruin the chemistry of the team.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    I've seen a few games and take out some dunks and all you have is tennis going back and forth. Yes, the west is tight and a team is going to gyped out of the playoffs but you might as well put the And 1tour team out there. Few teams to watch and that win and play basketball…SA/Det/Bos type teams.

  • bahickma

    This age limit has everything to do with the college game. Two years is a big deal. Kids aren't going to go to a system where they can pad their stats and look better in comparison to the next freshman. You can have a lucky game, but it would be hard to have two lucky seasons. How many times have we seen a freshman come out and dominate and then stay for his sophomore year and play at the same level or worse (Dominic James). If Dominic would have went after his freshman season he probably would have been drafted higher than what he would now, if he is drafted at all now. And college basketball isn't about getting some of these kids into school, it's about developing their game because their potential job market is the NBA, Europe, or some other basketball league. They aren't getting degrees in Business, Political Science, or English. They're getting hands-on training in the basketball profession.

  • B_MD

    You need to look at the bigger picture and not just the style of basketball you like. Some people like SAS/Det/Bos some people like Phoenix and Golden State, but the fact is that this is one of the most exciting NBA seasons in a long time.

    I mean it's crazy that a 50-win team is going to miss the playoffs and that 3 1/2 games separates #1 and #6 in the west, then Boston is absolutely destroying teams and Detroit is the sixth team since 76-77 to win four straight division titles.

    Plus you have LeBron, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams coming of age, Boston and LA resurrected, Shaq in Phoenix and Kidd in Dallas. A possible BOS-LeBron matchup in the secrond round in the east. Can Duncan and SAS finally go back-to-back. Can Phoenix get over the hump? Does Chris Paul have enough experience to guide a team through the playoffs?

    I don't know how a basketball fan would not be totally psyched for the NBA Playoffs…

  • BrianK

    Yeah but the nion is against it but agreed to it because the NBA gave in other areas

  • BrianK

    They do accept them back to finsigh their degrees they jsut have to pay for it. They shouldn;t be able to use a scholarship. They gave that up to leave.

  • BrianK

    Baseball has a developmental league with the minors that it uses greatly. Basketball and football on the other hand use it very sparingly. The kids get greater development in college. Garnett got alot of heat for not being able to post up very well. Well imagine if he would of learned that a little more in college.

  • jgongora86

    I don't think it should be counted as an athletic scholarship. If you take these kids 4yrs should be paid. 1/2 of these can't afford to pay for their college educations because out of state tuition is so expensive.

  • Um, injury? The loss of permanent million-dollar earning potential? Just off the top of my head.

  • You're talking about one of the five best players in the NBA, and one of then 10 best power forwards of all time. You really think a year or four in college would have helped him out?

  • BrianK

    Thats what I said lol. They stay around a couple years. Theres a difference between staying around a couple years and being a Kobe. i agree with getting a second contract. They do tend to make money stay a couple years nad/or go to Europe. But what IM saying is if they developed more in college then they would possibly have better chance of extending their careers in pros.

  • BrianK

    yeah i remembered he was going ot come then wanted to go to NBA and wasn;t projected then deceided on Europe. That was odd.

  • Actually, for every Lenny Cooke, Korleone Young, and DeAngelo Collins, there are TWO Kobe Bryants, Tracy McGradys and Kevin Garnetts.

  • BrianK

    yeah but you get scholarships for Atheltics and Grades. If they use their 2 of their years of their athletic scholarship and decide to get an agent and try the draft then thats on them. We shouldn't give out a second chance scholarship for makign a bad decision. They know the rules and consequences.

  • BrianK

    man I saw you calling out ppl further up and I knew you would make your way down to me. DAMN IT. Lol. 4 years yeah I do. 2 years possibly some. Depending on who he had as a coach. Im not saying saying he sucks or isn't one of the best lol. I', m just saying it would of possibly added that part to his game.

  • BrianK

    Not so much. i haven;t seend 2 Kobe's, Tracy's and KG's, From the last 2 years of the draft where they let Highschool kids in there were almost 20 that entered the draft. more oft than not they hang around for at least a couple years or so or go to Europe. I think we are getting caught up in symantecs. What we are saying is they might be able to extend their careers or bring them up a level possibly with 2 years of college.