Saturday, May 15, 2010

College Basketball Farms Underclassmen To Pros

Chad Ford's Top 100

College Basketball is taking one additional step towards becoming the farm system for professional basketball worldwide. The NCAA has a "One and Done" rule. The NBA has millions of dollars to pay and the International Leagues have no restrictions. The International League is waiting for the kids who don't want to make a mockery of the term Student-Athlete and waste a scholarship for another deserving player who has enough skill to play at the college level and enough self discipline and time management skills to balance court and classroom, to continue their plight towards a college education and being a productive component in building a basketball program. A concept played out successfully by Brandon Jennings, now playing with the Milwaukee Bucks. OK, well maybe just the talented kids who don't want to go to class for one semester to play one year. I know, there are the TV contracts, the apparel deals, commercials, marketing, boosters, donors, and even the win at all cost. But the NCAA has left itself right on the edge of being controlled by the NBA, influenced by the off-season basketball programs and camps, conspiring to lead young men in a direction of risk versus reward in the gamble with true preparedness for life and anything that may happen or to become one of 70 new entries into the NBA from the thousands of players that play and become eligible for the draft, free agency and long-shot tryouts for a chance at the luxury of millionaire basketball or a career in the alternate international market.

David Stern did not intend to become a servant to a juvenile movement, but he has sold out to exploiting kids and allowing the key to our GNP, "supply and demand", to rule the policy provisions against collateral damage of thousands of failed dreams for the success of a few and the success of selling a athletic product to the struggling consumer market. Don't get me wrong, but the college game is more attractive than the pro game. The players play more frequently at the championship level on both ends of the floor making the game more intriguing and suspenseful, along with energetic and entertaining. But the pro game pays and the college game plays, so follow the money, but can we really afford it America. There needs to be a better distribution of wealth and resources that trickle through the professional ranks from our consumer dollar and end in smaller hands. Like anything else technology has reduced the need for employment enhancements, so the money is not distributed as broad has it once displayed, but the incomes of the internal participants continues to grow. "Follow the Money."

As we enter the much awaited NBA Draft, the Marquee names such as John Wall, Xavier Henry and Demarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley, Greg Monroe, Patrick Patterson, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Al-Faroug Aminu, Ed Davis, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton and Gordon Hayward to name a few of the 70 plus underclassmen who have entered the "one & done" and early entry arena. Now we will watch the progression from their partial college successes and await their NBA courtship. The results of their teams' successes, career decisions and next year's recruiting will reveal the potential shift of high school superstars to signing one year college deals for class to International Basketball for cash. The "One & Done" NBA mandate is not a success, it never had any chance other than assuring that no high school player could be left out of a college opportunity after the NBA draft because of a premature or even immature decision to turn professional before nurturing their respective skills at desiring college programs. In all cases these talented young men would be playing at the highest level for quality programs, learning from the best coaches and mentors, seeking their skills. While only a few college coaches, like Kentucky's John Calipari, actually embrace this recruiting and early draft culture, many are forced to tolerate and accept the program consequences to avoid being left out of the sweepstakes for the highly talented high school players that can help turn a program for a season or a couple of years into both conference and national championship contenders. Each year there are approximately 70 jobs available in the NBA for all aspiring college basketball players leaving school early or after graduation.  This year alone there are over 70 underclassmen, alone,  making themselves available for the NBA draft and giving up their college eligibility.  But as most things in America, it's not perfect but it's the best we have under the circumstances, anywhere in the world.