I am reading some opinions on the failings on the NBA's age restriction and it gave me an idea.
Firstly let me say I still think it benefits more players than it hurts. Education is and always will be a tool that can help an individual grow.
That said the most powerful argument that I heard to allow the players decide whether or not to declare for the draft was this.
If they are good enough to sign up to fight and die for the USA straight out of school, they sure as hell should be able to earn money playing ball if someone wants to pay them.
Hard to argue with that.
OK political statements aside, here's my idea.
Why can't the NBA and NCAA get together and alter both sets of rules to allow players drafted from high school to go to college on an NBA paid scholarship?
The player wont receive a salary although I though of some kind of financial accumulation system where the player receives a lump sum upon call up. Possibly with bonuses for academic achievement. The NBA team would decide when the player is ready to contribute, David Stern gets a form of age limit and the NCAA gets quality players without the money scandals that seem to follow.
This also settles the argument on hoops prodigies like Dwight Howard, Le Bron and Kobe being forced to go to school when they would develop just as quickly in the league.
I had thought about the team's having a say on the school choice, but that kinda flies in the face of the basis of this idea. The choice of the kid. It's a thought though
I know the NCAA rules are strict on students not being pro's but don't students in other fields get paid for using their talents? If a language student gets paid to translate documents do they become ineligible to go go to school?
Now I know someone is going to quote rules as to why this isn't possible right now. I know that!. I just don't see why it can't be possible if the affected parties can't get together and talk about it.
I also understand that this is a simple proposal to a complicated issue and would need thrashing out a great deal to satisfy everyone, but I thought it would start a good dialogue. Isn't that why were use this site?