Brandon Jennings and Why the NBA Is Ruining College Basketball

Matt MadridCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2008

Touché, Brandon Jennings, touché.

For those of you who do not know who he is, Jennings is the No. 1 point guard coming out of the high school class of '08. He is from L.A. but attended Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

He recently signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Arizona Wildcats this upcoming year but was having trouble becoming eligible due to his low ACT scores.

Since he is a lock as a lottery pick a year from now, instead of enrolling at U of A, the kid pulls a fast one on the basketball world and decides he will play for some European team this year instead of spending a year in school before declaring. This all leads to my point.

The NBA is ruining the sport of college basketball. The NBA can't even hold college basketball's jock when it comes to popularity and passion, but since these players want to get paid they are jumping ship after one year—well, after a semester really. As long as they are eligible in the fall they can play and not worry about being ineligible for their sophomore year.

This one year before going to the NBA has to be like a dream vacation for these guys. Whether they spend a year in school or go to Europe like Jennings, they know they will have a big check to cash in a year, so they sit back and relax while they can.

Continue to make the NBA better (dress code, Lakers vs. Celtics finals) and learn from the NFL and make it three years out of high school. The NFL and NCAA are in perfect sync because the school's know what they are getting from the players and the NFL franchises know they aren't drafting immature kids.

Making college kids go to school for only a year before going to the league is absurd when you have a draft that has only two rounds, do not have a farm system like baseball (the D-League ranks with the WNBA), and only have 12 or 13 roster spots.

Yes, there have been the exceptions like Kobe, BronBron, and Melo, but most of them don't turn out like that (example: Kwame Brown). They sit on the bench for two years instead of actually playing defense in college and are wasting their amazing talent.

Lute Olson (head coach at Arizona) let everyone know that since this has happened to him twice now within the past three months (he just lost his best player after his freshman year to the draft) he will no longer recruit high school players that plan on leaving for the NBA after one year.

Hopefully Jennings putting one over on the rules will make David Stern wise up. He needs to realize that adding more years onto the draft declaration rule would help his NBA and also keep the college game as great as it used to be.