NBA to alter age requirement in wake of NCAA scandals

Justin English, Staff Contributor

In the wake of an FBI scandal that revealed the seedy underbelly of college basketball, the NBA has begun to contemplate scrapping the “one-and-done” rule.

Currently, players wishing to enter the NBA must be at least 19 years of age. This current age gap prevents most high school players from entering the NBA draft immediately. Thus, many of these top prospects opt to spend one year at a college before entering the NBA draft.

These elite players bring in millions to their universities but make nothing in return. Free tuition, while beneficial for those completing their education, amounts to little for players set on the NBA. NBA rookie phenom and former LSU star Ben Simmons commented on the current agreement. “I’m at LSU because I have to be here,” he said. “I can’t get a degree in two semesters, so it’s kind of pointless. I feel like I’m wasting my time.”

NBA star Kevin Durant commented as well. “You should let these kids make a decision, however they want to. If they want to come out of high school, it should be on them. You know what I mean? You can’t control everything,” he said. “So if they feel as though they’re ready, that’s on them. They want to make a decision on their life, that’s on them. If they don’t get drafted, it’s on them.”

If the NBA were to eliminate the age provision, a move that seems imminent, several options exist as alternatives to the current system.

One alternative would be to simply allow the players to enter straight into the NBA with no changes in the current NBA system.

However, many 19-year-olds, while talented, are not polished enough to play lots of minutes in the NBA. Instead, numerous players and coaches within the NBA have suggested to enhance the NBA-G league for young players, paying them more than the current 26,000 dollar salary with the hope they will develop as players in the feeder teams.

Overseas play is also an option, and a league in Australia has jumped out in the hopes of securing young talent, offering a special slot on their teams for young prospects; paying 76,000 annually. Other NBA players have formerly played overseas in lieu of a year in college but the practice is not widespread.

Regardless, a change to the current system will assuredly come. The only question remaining is what exactly will replace it.