The Reality of College Sports

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I just wanted to comment on all of the “One-and-Done” talk that permeates the air this time every year. Who are we to complain that talented, athletic young men decide to make a lot of money while they can? If I was Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, I would do the same thing. The risk is far too great to stay in college. One injury could literally cost millions of dollars. If an elite college athlete (and let’s not forget that “Elite” athletes were recruited by…and won a national championship for…John Calipari and the University of Kentucky) wants to complete a college education, they still can. Steve Young earned his law degree while playing at a very high level in the NFL.

My point is, this is not our choice. We want our teams to win. We want national titles. We want to be dynasties. That requires talent. And talent is worth millions of dollars in professional sports. Those with talent should be free to use that talent while it lasts. They should not have to consider the opinions of (mostly) talentless fans. This is in their best interests. And this is not the fault of any college coaches. They are simply working within a system that has been forced upon them. John Calipari is not the devil. He does not force “kids” to move on. In fact, he would LOVE to have this years entire team remain in school. That is a fact. He has said it himself. But he also knows that this is not his choice. He knows that there are risks involved. He knows his players. And this is their dream now. Until a few weeks ago, that dream was to win a national championship. Today, it is to win an NBA championship…and be very wealthy to boot.

With all of that said, I believe that the NBA (and all other professional sports) could follow the lead of the NFL. Require two years removed from high school before these athletes are eligible to play professionally. That takes this choice out of a players hands for one more year. They can attend college knowing that they have two years to prepare themselves for the part of being a multimillionaire super star that has nothing to do with a game. They could use this time to learn the pitfalls of sudden wealth. They could be coached to not only succeed in their sport, but in their personal life.

By tmhale13