Leaving College for the Pros

Discussion in 'Sports' started by RodH, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. RodH

    RodH
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    Tommie Harris of Oklahoma and Michael Clayton of LSU have recently decided to leave college early for the NFL bringing the total up to 19 so far. Here is a link to a list of all the names of players leaving early: LINK TO LIST FROM YAHOO.COM

    Larry Fitzgerald of Pitsburgh and Maurice Clarrett wanting to leave early brings up another debate. The NFL has a rule that a player has to be out of high school 3 years before they are eligible for the draft. Is this a good rule? Should a great athlete who is a poor student be forced to sit out a few years because his grades weren't good enough for college? I don't think many have sympathy for Clarett, but Fitzgerald would be eligible now if he hadn't gone to a prep school to get his grades up before college.

    The NFL says the rule is there to protect the players because they aren't physically ready for the punishment of an NFL season. The NBA doesn't have a similar rule and the result is players trying to jump straight from high school to professional with few being ready. With the success of a few like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, the temptation to jump straight to the pros only gets stronger. You don't hear much about the players that don't make it and regret their decision to leave early.

    I have mixed feelings on the topic myself. I don't like seeing players leave school early or jump straight to the pros, but I don't think it is right to make them stay in college and risk injury if they are ready to make the transition. What do you think? Should the NBA adopt a rule similar to the NFL? Should the NFL ever allow early entry?
     
  2. ChurchBoy

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    I believe that it should come down to whether the athlete is ready to compete in the pros. No one seems to complain about elite female tenis players turning pro at age 15 or 16. Many of them (Monica Seles, Williams sisters, etc) were dominant players as teens. Borris Becker won Winbledon at age 17. Michele Kwan made the 1994 Olympic team at age 13. Ken Griffey, Jr was a major league regular at age 19. There are many other examples. Again the issue is physical and emotional maturity and metal readiness. Professional sports are a very demanding occupation with tremendous stress placed on the athlete.
     
  3. go2church

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    The point of college it to be able to get a job and have a career, well for those leaving and earning millions I would have to say mission accomplished.
     
  4. robycop3

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    The NBA & the NFL should be very careful not to mess up their FREE FARM SYSTEMS. I believe colleges may start scaling back their programs & cut the numbers of scholarships they give for football & basketball if they see too many players in whom they've made substantial investments leave school early. Remember how the Ivy league scaled back many of their athletic programs?

    I believe that the NBA, NFL, & NCAA should work out some kind of deal which allows a college athlete to commit to a pro team without actually getting paid or playing for them yet. I mean, let's face reality. If a pro team were to sign a player out of college for $1 m per year, & that player spend a lotta time on the bench while drawing his pay, why not leave him in school where he'd play & develop, & pay him $4 M at a later date?

    And I've NEVER understood exactly WHY the NCAA has been so against players being paid to endorse a product. How does this affect their status as players? They're not being paid to play-they're being paid to wear a certain brand of athletic shoe or say they use a certain brand of socks or underwear, etc.

    Speaking of play-for-pay, I believe we all know that many other nations' governments pay their international "amateur" athletes. Their JOB may be listed as "high school coach", but the DUTIES of their "jobs" are training in their sport. We're being hypocritical to try to maintain a purely-amateur status for our top young athletes when no other nation does so, despite the "appearance" they put on.

    I know this is a complex question for which there's no "cure-all" answer, but I don't believe it's above being resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Those involved must remember that all sports are entertainment and that they're all BUSINESSES. For sports such as field hockey, played almost exclusively by amateurs, there's still the BUSINESS of selling the game's equipment. I hope the NCAA "gets real" and quits trying to treat a business as strictly amateur entertainment-and that the pro leagues wake up before they destroy the free farm system the NCAA provides.
     
  5. RodH

    RodH
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    USC receiver Mike Williams is taking advantage of the ruling that allowed Maurice Clarett to leave for the NFL early. I wonder if others will follow.

    Here is a link to the article:
    Williams opts to leave USC for NFL draft
     

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