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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

NBA Draft: Too young, too soon?

Posted Friday, May 16, 2008, at 2:05 PM

Complaints about basketball players leaving college after one year for the NBA Draft have occupied several newspaper sports pages I've seen over the past few days.

The NBA says players must have a year of college behind them, a change from when they were drafting prospects straight out of high school.

Are the riches of pro contracts worth leaving school? Maybe so, when you look at the dismal graduation rates of most college basketball programs. Face it: Many college athletes aren't qualified to be there, grade-wise. But they attract fans, and fans spend money, so colleges will find some way to get them enrolled.

Sometimes, though, I wonder what all the fuss is about. These players are over 18 -- they're adults -- and can make any decision they want.

And players who sign big-money contracts can be set for life if they don't lose their newfound wealth to immaturity and/or agents.

But the NBA, and colleges, are going too far when they turn on the pressure toward potential superstars as young as high school freshmen. Let them grow up first.

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.