This op-ed is part of our newly launched column highlighting the voices of young leaders in our community. Tyrone Rule, the author of this op-ed, is a sophomore at Fruitport High School.
According to sports columnist and ESPN commentator Adrian Wojnarowski, the National Basketball Association’s “one-and-done” rule states that players have to spend at least one year in college. High school players who would otherwise have jumped directly into the NBA were instead playing in college for the required year before leaving and entering the draft.
The reason I say that the NBA needs to let this rule go is because players should decide what is best for themselves. Many of them go straight from the projects and rundown communities for the sport of basketball, so they either have to get a full ride scholarship or work their tails off and make it to the league.
When I compared basketball to other sports, like baseball, for example, I saw that students who are drafted can go straight from high school to Major League Baseball with no penalties. This is also true with soccer, hockey, and golf. With other sports like basketball and football, the leagues require the one-and-done rule, and athletes have to be a minimum age of 20 before they are drafted. It is my opinion, for the sake of students who qualify for NBA opportunities at the end of high school, that they should be allowed to step right into the role of NBA player without the requirements of having to attend a year of college.
Matt Hayes of ESPN said 86 percent of college athletes live in poverty. This goes to show that there is no need for a one-and-done rule when players need the money because they don’t have the resources to go to college for more than a single year.
How can you take away the players’ opportunity to be a professional when they have worked so hard to reach this point in their lives?
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and former Commissioner David Stern have been trying to eliminate this rule because people want to see young talent. The NBA will go on forever, but National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball and professional basketball are very different. Playing in the NBA requires skills, and one man can potentially take over an entire game. But in the NCAA, basketball is a team sport where everyone has to chip in, in order to win. To keep the NBA running strong, we need players who play like veterans even though they are in college. They need to be in the NBA.
In conclusion, the one-and-done rule needs to go because of three reasons. Men should be allowed to decide what they want to do with their careers. Second, they may need the money to provide for their families. If you didn’t have the resources to provide for your family and someone said you have to do at least one year of college, and then you can go get the money for your family, you would be upset because of a missed opportunity. Lastly, if you’re crazy good at something and you have a chance to go pro, then you’d better take the opportunity! Get rich, make a name for yourself, and live your life like it’s golden.