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Sunday, May 26
The Indiana Daily Student

Freshman headed overseas?

It has arrived. Draft day. Possibly one of the biggest days in the NBA calendar, even more so if your team is the Clippers, Grizzlies or (God forbid) the Knicks.\nThis year’s draft will be deep, mostly fattened with players who if not for a certain NBA commissioner, would have already collected NBA paychecks.\nEver since David Stern announced that the NBA would no longer draft straight-out-of-high-school players, colleges have been flooded with talented recruits, the NCAA showered with buckets of money and TV stations bombarded with ratings boosts.\nBut despite millions of individuals profiting from the ban, the players themselves are not necessarily better off. Take this year’s draft, for example. Stars like Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo are projected to go in the top 10 of the draft, but the question of whether or not their one-year stint did them or the university any good is still unanswered.\nThese players, for the most part, are only biding their time waiting until the year is up before they can fulfill their real dream – playing in the NBA.\nWhat purpose does it serve the college for the player to spend one year with them? What good is it for the unfortunate professors who have to worry about a player potentially being ineligible when they cut class? And can society blame these athletes for ditching when their only goal in life is being momentarily hindered by a guy old enough to be their grandfather?\nI’m sure David Stern had good intentions when he and the rest of the NBA enacted that rule. Many high-schoolers entered the NBA and faltered, floating away to the sea of the CBA or Europe. And while Stern most likely wanted to prevent that outcome, he instead forced colleges to accept so-called student-athletes that have no interest in anything except improving their mock-draft rating.\nA recent New York Times article described a groundbreaking possible solution to the problem of high-school seniors committing to a college and leaving after one year. Brandon Jennings – a senior at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia – originally signed a letter of intent with Arizona, but after the NCAA forced him to retake the SAT for the third time, he searched for another way to spend his year.\nInstead of wasting a scholarship to a basketball powerhouse, Jennings could spend his year in Europe, playing with seasoned professionals, living alone and maturing light years ahead of his college-bound peers.\nJennings’ possible decision offers the perfect solution to other high school seniors debating the merits of college. If Stern truly does want to help future NBA players, then he should only support Jennings. Going to college for a year helps everyone involved except the player and his family. Going away helps the player.\nAs Jennings told the Times, if the idea becomes popular, “It’ll be a good thing for the kids and a bad thing for the college coaches.” \nOnly time will tell if his logic proves correct, but one thing’s for certain. NCAA’s stronghold on freshmen may be coming to an end.

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