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Going Pro? Why Wait?

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Going Pro? Why Wait?

Benjamin Uzzell, Staff Writer

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Should basketball and football athletes be able to go pro straight out of high school?

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The NCAA makes more than 1 billion dollars per year through March Madness alone, and even more throughout the regular season. Also, they made 925 million dollars through SEC football. How much money do the players make? Not a dime. However, college coaches get paid, and coaches at the highest level, Division I, get paid millions of dollars. For example, according to Forbes Magazine, Alabama head coach Nick Saban makes approximately 7 million dollars per year and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski makes about 9 million dollars per year. However, the fans do not come to watch the coaches coach. They come to see the excitement of the players. Zion Williamson, a household name and future NBA prospect, had a game against Duke rival UNC. The tickets sold for thousands of dollars. How much did Zion Williamson make? I’m sure you can guess.
Both football and basketball bring in a significant amount of money for the NCAA. Players in sports such as tennis, baseball, and soccer are allowed to go pro immediately out of high school or earlier; however, those sports do not bring in nearly as much money as basketball or football at the college level. For example, someone that plays tennis is eligible to go pro at the age of 14, and soccer players are eligible to sign professional contracts at the age of 16. Baseball players, if good enough, can go right from high school to the major leagues. A basketball player has to be a year removed from high school before he is able to play. Those players can either go to college and play, sit out, go to a prep school, or go overseas. Sitting out, going to prep school, and going overseas can all be very risky. If they sit out, NBA teams can only judge players by their high school accomplishments. If they play at a prep school, it can be argued that not every player that they play against is a college athlete. If they go overseas and make any money, they are considered a pro. This means that if they are not projected to be drafted, they can no longer play in college. Football players have fewer options for playing overseas. If they sit out, the chances of them getting drafted are very slim, and there are not many options of playing overseas that compare to the NCAA or NFL. The NCAA has argued that the men need it because they are not necessarily mature enough to go to the NBA or NFL immediately out of highschool. In reality, it’s money that they want.
It will take plenty of years for this rule to change. The NBA recently submitted a proposal to lower the draft age from 19 to 18, enabling players to be drafted out of high school again for the first time since 2005. However, there have been no further reports on the situation. If the NCAA agrees, this will be the first and massive step in the right direction. But it starts with the players. Protests and strikes could decrease the amount of money the NCAA makes, possibly forcing them to begin paying players. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Sources:
https://www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/2018/3/16/17121588/college-basketball-fbi-investigation-ncaa-player-compensation

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/rules.jsp

You’re Never Too Young to Play Tennis

https://www.whatsnext.com/second-chance-become-pro-golfer/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcedelman/2018/03/18/college-basketball-players-get-none-of-the-ncaa-tournaments-revenues-is-it-time-to-unionize/amp/

Profitable College Football programs

https://www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/nba/2018/4/25/17279472/nba-draft-one-and-done-rule-changes-2020-top-prospects-college-basketball-commission

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/college-athletes-getting-paid-here-are-some-pros-cons_b_58cfcee0e4b07112b6472f9a

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Going Pro? Why Wait?