NBA Age Limits Are a Scam

Cynical 2005 move by pro basketball was all about the bottom line
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2009 9:25 AM CDT
A high school basketball game.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The NBA’s minimum draft age of 19, with one year of college—and a new proposal to make it 20—is nothing but a cynical ploy by pro basketball and the NCAA that “hasn’t helped players in any way,” Buzz Bissinger writes. Players can easily sail through a year of college without accruing any educational benefits whatsoever. But that doesn’t matter to the collegiate and pro coaches—for them it’s a moneymaker, and a moneysaver.

You see, Bissinger writes in the New York Times, college teams get to fill arenas with bankable talent that might otherwise have gone directly pro. Conversely, pro teams get players with free training from their schools. Meanwhile, all the anecdotal evidence that high schoolers just aren’t ready for the big leagues is phooey, he writes. They get into less trouble, and have better stats than their older colleagues. They’re just being ripped off harder. “The right decision would be to abolish the NBA age limit" and "stop jumping into the same Jacuzzi" with the NCAA.