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If there ever was reason to change the rules of eligibility for entering the NBA draft the Derrick Rose SAT scandal is that reason. Iím sure you know the story by now. Allegedly, Derrick Rose had an invalidated standardized test score while attending Chicagoís Simeon High School because another student allegedly took the test for him. There is also a report of a grade being changed from a D to a C that allowed Rose along with the SAT score to enroll at the University of Memphis. Rose denies any wrong doing. On June 2 the University of Memphis announced after an internal investigation it was unable to find proof that a former player cheated on his SAT exam. The case is still pending a review by the NCAAís Committee on Infractions.
Since 2005 the rules for high school ball players looking to enter the NBA draft are as follows:
1. The minimum age for entry into the NBA is 19; players must have their nineteenth (or later) birthday in the calendar year of the draft in order to be eligible;
2. Players who completed basketball eligibility at a U.S. high school, regardless of their nationality, must be at least one year removed from high school.
Basically upon graduating from High School you have to sit out a year before entering the draft. A player can spend that year in college and playing over seas has become an option, as in the case of Brandon Jennings who opted to play in Europe after deciding not to attend the University of Arizona after having trouble passing the SAT. He did pass once by the way. The National Basketball a.ssociation is a business and they have the right to run their business any way they choose, but is the way theyíre running their business the root behind the one and done college basketball player or the high school student whoís just not cut out for college and allegedly cheats on his or her SAT exam to enroll in a college they didnít even want to attend?
Iím not going to justify anyone cheating by saying well a lot of these kids come from poor backgrounds and fatherless homes. I understand and I also know that just because a person is poor they donít know or were never taught the difference between right and wrong so letís throw that argument at out the window. It makes me sick to hear that, as if because you grow up poor you donít know the difference between right and wrong. Think about that for a minute, thatís story for another time but it applies to my point. The rules that are in place are going to drive these kids to make the same decisions that Rose allegedly made to live out a dream or to take care of their families. I have to believe those bad decisions wouldnít be made if the above-mentioned two rules werenít in place. What would be so wrong with allowing a high school student who tried but failed to be drafted or is drafted and cut by an NBA team before ever playing a single minute in an NBA game to be eligible to go to college hone his or her skill, learn some shyt in the process and enter the draft again after a year or two of college? Who knows the kids may even find out that college is where they really want to be.
Iíve never heard anyone crying about teenagers not going to college and playing professional tennis or golf. I know baseball has a minor league system but they still draft and pay kids straight out of high school. The NBA and the NCAA need to work this one out together. Maybe turn that NBDL (developmental league) into a true minor league system. Until then the SAT scandal, the 10th grade phenom thinking of skipping his or her senior year to play in Europe and the OJ Mayoís of the world will continue to be an issue because someone will always be looking for a way around those two rules.