Basketball Needs to Be Fixed

Professional and college basketball have become very popular in the
hearts and minds of many Americans. Millions of dollars a year are spent on
apparel, tickets, and television all generated by people\'s love for basketball.
But in the last couple of years, both the National Basketball Association (NBA)
and college basketball have lost a substantial amount of their competition and
have caught much criticizim for it. At the heart of this problem is a single
cause, greed. The game of basketball has become all about money instead of the
game and its fans. This problem needs to be addressed, and the best place to
start is with the college players, or more specifically, the NBA draft. The
rules and guidelines that pertain to the draft are greatly at fault for the down
slide of both college and NBA basketball and they need to be changed before the
game down slides into nothing.
The changes that need to be made are simple, underclassmen should not be
eligible for the NBA draft; or in other words, if you have years of eligibility
left, you should not be eligible to be drafted by an NBA team. What problems
would this solve? The answer is most problems in basketball today.
First, college basketball has paid greatly by losing its most talented
players to the NBA as many as three years early. This has resulted in not only
an overall lessening of the game, but in certain circumstances caused the
downfall of once great basketball programs. This is how it happens, colleges
recruit players based on what their needs are or what they will need shortly in
the future. So let us say that one school has a great core of sophomore and
junior players for an upcoming season. The coaches do not have the need or the
room for many new top notch players. So all of the top recruits find other
schools to go to. Then, let us say that the great core of players leaves for
the NBA, leaving the team with mediocre players and a horrible season to look
forward to. By the next recruiting period comes around, the school\'s reputation
has been hurt, and so has their chances of landing the top recruits. This
continues until the school\'s once proud basketball tradition is a thing of the
past. This situation is not only hypothetical, schools like UNLV, Georgetown,
Seton Hall, and Houston have all gone through this process and now find
themselves at the bottom of the barrel.
It is not only the universities that early entry to the NBA hurts, the
league in general takes a huge blow. College basketball markets their teams
after their best players, when those players decide to go pro early, the
promotion of college basketball is hurt; along with the overall talent level of
the league is lowered drastically. Games become less interesting because the
players are not as talented. This in turn hurts the television networks because
people do not like watching games in which they do not know who the players are.
And then, that in turn hurts the league and the schools again because the
networks will not pay as much to televise the games as they once did.
The schools and the league are not the only ones hurt, by leaving school
early hoping to make the big bucks the players hurt themselves. In the world
that we live in today, if you do not have a college degree, opportunities are
limited. Look at the statistics, 60 players are drafted each year, and there
are only 360 roster spots in the entire NBA. The chances that each player
drafted will make the team is almost an impossibility. Some people go back to
school and try to finish their degrees, but most do not because once you give up
your eligibility, you cannot get it back, with means most of them cannot afford
to go back to school. This leaves a lot of people out of work and with no
degree. By keeping the college players in school, most will achieve their
degree by the time that they are ready for the NBA.
The beneficiary of the underclassmen being allow to leave early would be
the NBA right? It seems that way, but that is not really the case. The problem
with drafting underclassmen is that they are not totally matured yet, they have
not yet received all of the skills that they would need to make the immediate
impact that their teams expect them to make. These