the NBA has had a minimum age requirement of 19 in place for American basketball
players to enter their annual draft. This
became known as the one-and-done rule. This phrase best fits the
description of high profile college basketball freshmen that play for one
season and then bolt for the riches awaiting them in the NBA!
Many notable top NBA draft picks
took this route: Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, DRose, John Wall, Kyrie Irving,
Anthony Davis, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
After March Madness the focus of
attention by college basketball media and fans shifts to the decisions made by
freshmen in regards to entering the draft or remaining in school.
projected to be the first two players selected in the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft, Jahlil
Okafor (Duke) and Karl Anthony Towns (Kentucky) have been the main attention
getters. This just further intensifies the ongoing debates on whether the age
minimum should be increased or remain the same.
Adam Silver strongly believes that increasing the minimum age requirement gives
the NBA a better, more mature class of players filtering into the league each
associated with the NCAA dislike the current rule in place because they feel
that it’s diminishing the quality of the game.
Loyal upperclassmen led teams are being replaced with inexperienced freshmen, many with no
sense of dedication and loyalty. I may need to add a side note because just last
Monday night, four highly gifted freshmen led the Duke Blue Devil’s and Coach K
to a fifth NCAA national title defeating Wisconsin 68-63. These young men
played unselfish and cohesively as a unit and we may never witness a collection
of freshmen talent on one team like this again.
reasons given by the critics of the current NBA minimum age requirement, I strongly believe that money is the true motivation for their resistance!
one year increase to the minimum age requirement may not appear like such a big
deal, to highly talented college basketball freshmen, it’s an extra year of
unpaid labor denying them the opportunity to make some serious money!
me make myself clear, I do understand that student-athletes are afforded an
opportunity to obtain a paid for education. They also get free TV exposure from
major networks, but student-athletes don’t get the opportunity to cash in
on the revenue that they help generate.
The NCAA is
currently in the middle of a 14 year $10.8 billion deal with CBS Sports and
Turner Broadcasting which pays approximately $770 million annually for March
Madness. According to Kantar media, March Madness has generated $7.5 billion from
TV ads alone since 2005. In 2014 $1.3 billion was generated with even higher
earnings projected from the 2015 NCAA Tournament! As of yet, no financial data is available for TV ads revenue from this year’s tournament. So the NCAA would
benefit even more financially if the NBA players union would agree to a minimum
The NCAA are
always quick to point out that they use 96% of the revenue generated from March
Madness to benefit student-athletes through either programs, services or direct
distribution to member Division I and II conferences and schools. Still the 4%
left isn’t bad money from nearly $2 billion gained from just two revenue
all-star weekend in February, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reiterated his
desire to raise the minimum age requirement to 20. NBPA (National Basketball
Players Association) Executive Director, Michele Roberts countered with, “Be
happy with one-and-done, it’s not going to be two-and-done.”
question Silver’s motives though because I know he realizes the further back the
minimum age requirement is pushed, the older the players will be when entering
a rookie contract. So the longer the basketball player remains in school, the
more favorable it is to NBA owners because it insures that their investments
are in the prime of their careers while getting compensated under the lesser
rookie pay scale contracts. Keep in mind that only the first two years are
guaranteed under rookie contracts!
expected that the NBA players will opt-out of the current Collective Bargaining
Agreement after the 2016-17season, especially since the new nine- year $24
billion media rights deal with ESPN and Turner Sports will be in place.
the last CBA negotiations in 2011, the owners cried broke, but since that time
the LA Clippers were purchased by Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Since that
purchase, there has been a massive rise in NBA franchise values. Now it appears
to the players that the NBA owners were perpetrating the fraud!
agree that the NBA minimum age should be increased or not, it’s clearly evident
that money is the motivation for both the NBA and NCAA to agree on the
One thing is for certain though,
Michele Roberts (NBPA) and Adam Silver (NBA) are headed towards an epic battle
after the 2017 season. All of this is making me feel some type of way!