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June 1, 2004

High school athletes should go to college, not the pro level

by Isamu Bae, Page Editor
In two separate sports, the controversy surrounding the allowing of high-school athletes to enter the pro-level has sparked major debate and strong opinions.

When U.S. District Judge Shira Schleiden declared Maurice Clarett eligible for the NFL draft in February, people around the league were skeptical. “I still believe a kid 18 years old is not ready to play in the NFL," said Gene Upshaw, president of the NFLPA. Players such as Ravens’ Ray Lewis and Redskins’ LaVar Arrington publicly voiced their intentions to “gun for Clarett." Although their deliveries varied, the underlying statement was the same: the kids were not ready for the NFL.

NBA Commissioner David Stern, likewise, has launched a campaign to lock out athletes 18 or younger from the league.

The NFL has the ability to allow the drafting of these kids. With a roster of 51 players along with a practice squad of five, the NFL can nurture athletes. However, the ability of these athletes to thrive in the NFL is highly questionable. For example, an NFL safety is generally around six feet tall and weighs around 220 pounds. Usually with around 10-15% bodily fat. High school athletes, if they were to be of that size, would have had to spend an inordinate amount of time in the weight room, or even worse, have had to take questionable supplements.

Another major aspect of is mental maturity, or lack thereof. This aspect of people is not quantifiable and is a problem for even college players. Professional scouts must attempt to decipher the maturity level of players, and for athletes in their teens, it is nearly impossible to figure out. It is possible that more Ryan Leafs will come out of high school athletes. Even for an athlete with an incredible amount of will and determination to succeed, it is difficult to imagine an 18-year old athlete withstanding the sledgehammer hits of 230 pound linebackers day-in day-out while running grueling training for almost twice the length of their usual high school routine, and, in the case of those that end up starting games, must cope with the incredible amount of pressure from the fans and media.

The problems associated with drafting youngsters become even more intensified in the NBA. Each team has a roster of 15, and basketball has no minor league system. This inevitably leads to slow maturing of players, with the most notable and famous being Darko Milicic of the Detroit Pistons. Recently turned 18, Milicic played a total of 158 minutes over his rookie season. That is less than the time Kevin Garnett plays in four games. However, players like Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Darko Milicic, and LeBron James, whom have all skipped college in order to enter the NBA, are actually far from the norm. Five high schoolers entered the NBA draft last year. Their names are Ndudi Ebi, LeBron James, James Lang, Travis Outlaw, and Kendrick Persons. No doubt the name LeBron James rings a bell, after all he was a phenomenal rookie and likely will impact the game for a decade to come.

Again, maturity and a high physical level is necessary in the NBA. One example, although unfair, is 2004 MVP Kevin Garnett. While he has become one of the greatest all-around players in the history of basketball, one of the greatest knocks on Garnett has been his reluctance to post-up. This could, although admittedly unfairly, be attributed to his early entrance into the NBA. Skipping college, Garnett was not ready for the physical game of the NBA and struggled in his early years, and has since become a regular 20-point scorer by taking jump shots. Imagine if he had learned to post-up with his seven-foot body. Kwame Brown, a former first-overall pick, is the perfect example of a high schooler with not enough maturity. Brown has finally, in his third season, managed to show flashes of dominance, at last showing hustle and determination. Had it not been for his first-overall status, Brown could very well be out of the NBA by now, looking for a job outside of basketball. Not every high schooler will have the opportunity to be drafted early and have that leverage in being kept in the league to develop.



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  • ar sophomore on June 1, 2004
    "High school athletes, if they were to be of that size, would have had to spend an inordinate amount of time in the weight room, or even worse, have had to take questionable supplements."

    The NFL has the most thorough drug-testing system in professional sports, and star players like Daryll Gardner and Michael Westbrook have recieved multi-game suspensions for drug and steroid use.


    "It is possible that more Ryan Leafs will come out of high school athletes."

    Last I checked, Ryan Leaf played three seasons at Washington University.

    "basketball has no minor league system."

    The National Basketball Developmental League sent eight players to the NBA last year. It is a subsidiary league of the NBA, and works to graduate players to higher levels of professional basketball. Sounds like a minor league system to me.


    "This inevitably leads to slow maturing of players, with the most notable and famous being Darko Milicic of the Detroit Pistons."

    I think that Rasheed Wallace had more to do with Darko's miniscule playing time than his "slow maturing." Besides which, this was a learning year for Darko. He's a project player, and his true worth won't accuratly be known for several seasons.
  • Mike on June 1, 2004
    Darko Milicic sucks, Carmelo should have gotten second pick.
  • Nichole on June 1, 2004
    Some NBA players make enough $ to go back to school when they want. (And Darko is in no way a household name).
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on June 1, 2004
    Great point about Garnett, I never thought about it. And for Kwame, for every great game this year, there was also a night where he would score 2 points and 1 rebound. As for Darko, Larry Brown doesnt play rookies, although him being 18 accentuates that fact.
  • Bob on June 1, 2004
    You start off saying that if a kid enters the NFL at 18, they are against people a lot bigger than them. They know that, the scouts know that, and the coaches know that. If they still think the kid will do well, let him play.

    About maturity, if a kid wants to do this that's his choice. And if the scouts want to take the risk of a high school star being another Ryan Leaf let them dig their own grave.

    In basketball, you say that we only recognize one name, put it this way, if the rule was there couldn't be kids under 18 no matter what, he wouldn't be playing now.

    You talk about Kevin Garnett not posting up. That's his problem and he may have to suffer the consequences of going up early, but he made the choice and they should be able to do that. They know the consequences.

    Is it the best thing to go straight to pro from high school? Probably not. Is it our job to make a law against them doing that? No. In an age where people are allowed to screw up their own lives as much as they want, at least give them a chance to play pro sports. The worst thing that could happen? The kid isn't ready and has to pay the price for going pro early. He has to live with his own choice.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on June 2, 2004
    The NBDL (aka the "D-League") is a shabby minor league system, and in no way compares to the thorough systems in baseball, hockey, and even to an extent, football with NFL Europe. The D-League will be expanded to 15 if David Stern has his way (and he will) as a real minor league system, with each NBA team getting 6 slots on a 12 man roster that two teams share. It's just not a good system now.

    Its really not a minor league system, Armin. The NHL, NBA and NFL Europe systems all have the palyers affiliated with teams. THe D-League is a "minor league" but players are not connected to any team. Since players from the NBA cannot be demoted for seasoning a la AAA baseball or AHL hockey, its not a minor league system in the same sense at all.

    Isamu, you cant make NFL comparisons for high school. But you can for the NBA. SirValiant Brown? Omar Cook? These guys saw $$$ and passed up major D-1 college educations and scholarships for a pipe dream that never happened.
  • Isamu Bae (View Email) on June 3, 2004
    Lets see:

    Darko Milicic got no playing time regardless of Rasheed Wallace being there or not... maybe he got like 5 less minutes than he would have otherwise, but the Pistons had so many PF/C anyways that it really didn't matter. Either way, it proves my point. While in his case it may have been unique, as he was coming out of a league outside of the U.S., I think he would have learned a lot of actual play-time experience in Yugoslavia than he did here. Although admittedly the Pistons were able to teach him a lot... and the Pistons made it to the finals this year. In a sense, the Pistons had it pretty good this year. But can you say the same for the four other people who entered the draft early?

    When I said a minor league system, I mean when a team can, by its own choice, send a player on its team down to the system, perhaps for a year or two or maybe even five, to develop and learn from a whole new set of coaches. The NBA does not have one, and the only reason you can claim the NFL has one is because of NFL Europe and the CFL. By the way, the fact that those two act as a minor league system is the only reason why the NFL owners are willing to shell out money to keep them up.

    Yes, Ryan Leaf came out of college, I know that. I was actually meaning about the mental state of Ryan Leaf, but I guess I worded it wrong, sorry.

    So stars were punished for drug use. Is that it? Has society gotten to the point where people go "Oh, who cares if [certain person here] does drugs, he'll get punished for it in the future, probably, anyways"? Regardless of whether the athlete will get punished for drug use in a decade or not, that athlete has already done irreparable damage to his or her body.

    Going back to school is not the point. What is missing is the learning, about the sport, that players get in college. You learn from better coaches, a better system, learn from your seniors, and thus, when you enter the majors, you're that much more play-ready. Sure, you can make the argument that, hey, you can get 20 million dollars and just walk away from the sport. But is that the kind of players we want in the majors? What happened to the desire and drive that players used to have when dreaming about playing in the majors and succeeding and becoming a star? So let them learn in the majors? Unfortunately, once you enter the majors, you're under a rather strict time limit to do your thing, or else you're gone. Neither the coaches, the owners, nor the fans have the patience to tolerate some player taking five years to learn. You're expected to come in and contribute in one-three years. Of course, those who contribute from day one tend to reap the rewards. College experience allows athletes to gain skills that may let them make that contribution. This becomes even more true in the NFL, where the game is so fast and so tough and so complicated that even veterans have a hard time grasping concepts. If a 30 year old who has played in the league for 8 years has trouble, how can you expect an 18 year old to step in and contribute? Look at Larry Johnson, RB for the Chiefs last year. He came out of college, first running back drafted, and he was still criticized (a Dick Vermeil criticism, albeit) for his horrible pass blocking. I really, really doubt high school coaches, and this is no offense to them, teach blocking as well as college nor pros, they're just on a different level. Similarly, one cannot expect a high school coach to be able to teach a player to read opponent plays in a split second and take 5+ different actions depending on the play.

    Part of the responsibility that ultimately rests on the majors is whether those they draft can succeed in the world that they are making responsible, educated decisions. Why else would coaches go through the annual rookie lectures about what you're not supposed to do and everything? If an 18 year old enters the NFL, knowing they are going to be ripped to shreds (aside from the very, very few magnificent outliers who can actually compete in the NFL out of high school, although those will probably only come once in a decade), the responsible thing would be to point him in the direction of college to become more prepared. Not only is that better for the sport, as the overall skill level of football is said to be going down (I forget when and whom, but multiple coaches were quoted as saying the athletes' skills were simply on a whole different low compared to two decades ago), but the teams do not have to have a burden (every player counts, just look at the Patriots). Sometimes the kids do not make the best of choices.

    If there was a rule saying kids under 18 would not be playing, we would eliminate LeBron James. Oh my gosh, out of how many players? Please, really, who in NBA history has come out of high school and contributed since year 1 other than LeBron James? Noone. They probably could have done better learning in college by playing in 30 minutes every game than by playing in 5 minutes every game in the NBA.

    Bob, you say we should give kids a choice to do what they want. Does that mean we should let everyone smoke crack if they want to, because, shoot, who cares, their choice. And if some idiots decide to go shoot up a school, hey, their choice? Something has to start straightening out people's lives, and at the least, the majors should be doing so. It may not seem like it, but while the majors are an entertainment industry, they also set examples for people world-wide as role models.
  • ar sophomore on June 3, 2004
    "the Pistons had so many PF/C anyways that it really didn't matter"

    My point exactly. Darko should not be called a failure because virtue of the talent and coaching that he's surrounded by. The fact is that we simply do not know what kind of player Darko Milicic will be.

    "Has society gotten to the point where people go "Oh, who cares if [certain person here] does drugs, he'll get punished for it in the future, probably, anyways"?"

    I have no idea how you derived that from what I wrote, but in case there was some confusion, allow me to explain what I meant: the NFL requires drug testing for every rookie that enters the league, and the CBA allows for random drug testing after a player's initial season. As a result, there is no steroid problem in football, plain and simple. A player has to check their steroid or drug problem at the door if they want to play in the NFL.
  • Isamu Bae (View Email) on June 3, 2004
    The keyword is in the NFL. That gives athletes the ability to, if they please, try drugs before they get to the NFL. And that means some people may feel pressured to try out 'roids for other sports. Like baseball. And possibly basketball. And people could technically drug their way into the NFL, too, by taking drugs until they get into the Pros, and go through rehab programs there.
  • T.K . on June 5, 2004
    Ok, 1st of all...ar sophomore i take it that you have never played a sport befor? Stop speaking on topics you know nothing about. They high school kids are growing up in the ghettos and Jexs(Projects for all of you that DON'T know) They are more likely living with their mother or gramdmother, and if the chance for making millions ever came up why the hell go to college? College is not going anywere you can always go. The 1st thing you have to do is get that money and move your family to a safer place after that then you take care of anything else... so befor people start jumping on these kids back about skipping college for the pros think for a minute that every body is not a middle class white person with a mom and a dad with money in the bank!! But why am i even trying to explain this is a topic that every body will neo be able to understand.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on June 5, 2004
    TK, where did ar sophmore talk about the ghettos or Jexs? Why'd u single him out in the first place?

    You say CHANCE to make millions. There are very few high schoolers who make that cash. There are ten times that many who fail miserably and 30 years later, are sitting on a playground in the 'hood wondering where it all went wrong.

    Education is the most important thing there is. The money will be there in two or three years, and most likely there will be more of it. Sometimes players in extreme poverty and guaranteed cash, like Sebastian Telfair and $15 mil from Adidas, should go pro. But TK, you make it seem like every player is like that, when in reality, most arent. In fact, most players who bypass college for the pros (because they are in the situation you discuss) wind up getting bad info from money hungry people around them and fail miserably.

    It's not about playing these sports before, anyways, because very, very few even are in the situation where they can go pro out of high school. Hundreds of thousands of athletes played basketball last year in high school. How many made the NBA out of 12th grade? Less than 7, and thats being overly generous because i dont have the numbers in front of me.

    Besides, college isnt always there, either. Most of these players (not to single out a race or sport, this is black or white, baseball or football or basketball) are not scholars. If someone gets into UNC or Texas on a hoops scholarship, they get a magnificent education for little $. Then, if their careers fail, tehy have a degree from a great university. That option goes away if they arent playing hoops or any other sport and have lousy grades.
  • Cherie on June 5, 2004
    It is easier to get the $ first, then go back to college, but college is great. many pros take courses for their future and go back to school once they make it. Its not like they don't have the option to go back to school.
  • ar sophomore on June 5, 2004
    "Ok, 1st of all...ar sophomore i take it that you have never played a sport befor? Stop speaking on topics you know nothing about...so befor people start jumping on these kids back about skipping college for the pros think for a minute that every body is not a middle class white person with a mom and a dad with money in the bank!! But why am i even trying to explain this is a topic that every body will neo be able to understand."

    What are you talking about? Did you read a word of what I wrote? Did I once say anything in opposition to high school athletes skipping college? No. In fact, I've written several things on this very message board in defense of Darko Milicic, who never played a single game of college basketball. I wrote that Ryan Leaf played college, that Darko needs time to develope, that the NFL doesn't have a drug problem, and that the NBDL is a de facto minor league. So before you start taking cheap shots, please do yourself a favor and READ.
  • Kiran Bhat on June 5, 2004
    I totally agree with T.K. T.K. is absolutely correct in saying that the vast majority of these high school stars aren't rich suburban boys that can coast on a scholarship for 4 years and then go to the pros. In the rough areas of town, if you have a means of making some money and getting your family out of poverty, you need to take that shot. College for four years is four more years that the people who raised you and worked so hard for you have to live in poverty. These kids go pro for the same reasons that kids take jobs right out of high school; to make some money to supplement a family. Some fail, but that's the nature of the business. I think kids ought to be allowed to take these risks, because if they succeed, the reward is priceless. And it's not like the vast majority are failing, Kwame still gets paid millions. Four years on an NBA bench develop talent much better than four years in college, which is why Darko is gonna be great in 3 years, watch. Just look at Jermaine O'Neal.
    • Tyler Larson (View Email) on December 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM
      "I totally agree with T.K. T.K. is absolutely correct in saying that the vast majority of these high school stars aren't rich suburban boys that can coast on a scholarship for 4 years and then go to the pros. In the rough areas of town, if you have a means of making some money and getting your family out of poverty, you need to take that shot. College for four years is four more years that the people who raised you and worked so hard for you have to live in poverty. These kids go pro for the same reasons that kids take jobs right out of high school; to make some money to supplement a family. Some fail, but that's the nature of the business. I think kids ought to be allowed to take these risks, because if they succeed, the reward is priceless. And it's not like the vast majority are failing, Kwame still gets paid millions. Four years on an NBA bench develop talent much better than four years in college, which is why Darko is gonna be great in 3 years, watch. Just look at Jermaine O'Neal."

      Good job ar sophomore! I completely agree.

      You see what Kiran and T.K. doesn’t see is T.K.'s total idiocy and lack of grammar knowledge! This means he is some random person who tried and failed and saw this forum and didn’t like it because it was just another example of his failure!

      By the way I am a 17 year old motocross racer who opted to go to college instead of going pro.
      Tyler Larson #11
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on June 7, 2004
    Kiran, the ones who need to "coast on a scholarship for 4 years" and get a $100,000 education for free are the ones in the rough areas of town. If sports dont pan out totally, and they very often dont, you always have a college degree to fall back on. Contrary to what people are saying, I dont think a school like Texas or Virginia would open their doors to a failed ex-athlete with lousy grades, who would have gotten an education for free playing sports.

    Kiran, most fail. Life is not a risk thing, and Kwame Brown was a guaranteed Top 5 pick. There were over 75 early entrants into this years NBA draft, meaning high schoolers or college undergrads who are forgoing their shot at a degree. There are only 60 spots in the draft. Factor in college grads (Okafor, etc.) and thats dozens of kids throwing their life away altogether. They couldve had both a career in the NBA and a degree, now theyll have neither.

    Darko's an exception. he's a foreigner, who played professionally in Europe before. He's not from the rough side of town.

    For most of these kids, the ones from poor areas, they are the ones who often fail the most, and leave school early. They couldve gotten moer cash later, but now have nothing, and spend their life in the projects wondering what happened. Lenny Cooke, SirValiant Brown, et al. The list goes on, and on and on. Like I've said, for every KG and LeBron, tehre are ten Lenny Cookes. These kids must be responsible, take advantage of a great education, and then go pro. The NBA isnt gonna fold. If they are really NBA caliber, the money will still be there.
  • Reena on June 8, 2004
    you dont have to go to traditional college if the pros dont work out for you!!!
    Poeple can go to community college, or institutes specializing in a specific field. They are way less expensive than traditional college. Hey, if they want to play pro, they will have to fight the battle to succeed, but i do believe that they are in a tight situation because they are in young adulthood.
  • Nicci on June 8, 2004
    its not like the nba draft takes a life time. they can still attempt to pursue other things. My best friend's dad tried out for the 76ers in the 80s but he didn't make it. He may have missed a chance to go to a big university, but he got his education at a little community college and no he has a great job.

    Just because they get rejected from the nba and miss their chance at a big college doesn't always mean that their life is over. there are plenty of people from great colleges that have trouble finding jobs.
  • Isamu Bae (View Email) on June 8, 2004
    The problem is that, once you get into the NBA, there're problems.

    Sure, there are people who will get drafted. Make big money, go on, have fun. Yes, this may have been a nice way to go for those people.

    On the other hand, there are students who will try out for basketball. There are COLLEGE people who try and cannot make the NBA. This is why the NCAA generally makes athletes get a degree anyways, in the likely case they do not make the Pros. For high schoolers, this becomes even easier. Not drafted? Sure, go ahead. They can just go to college and map out a new life. The trick? Well, they're no longer eligible for college sports. So at the ripe old age of college-time, they've already given up hope of playing in the Pros. No more draft. Maybe someone will pick you up in "free agency" of which you are immediately eligible for after the draft. But chances are, people aren't gonna remember high schoolers. You're screwed.

    The problem also lies afterwards, even after an athlete is drafted. What if the athlete was actually in it for the game and not the money? What if an athlete genuinely wanted to become the next Kobe Bryant. This is no longer simply a matter of money. Someone could be a top 10 pick, guaranteed, out of high school. That's a lot of money. But they may not pan out in the NBA. With 15 people on the roster, and teams like the Pistons and the Spurs, with immensely deep benches going at it, even the 15th man may be draining resources (Darko). Fortunately, for Darko, he had many things going for him. First off, he landed on a brilliant team through a twist of fate. While he did not actually play, he learned from Big Ben and Rasheed Wallace. That's some good tutelage. But he probably wanted to play. And he's been rather public about it (not distracting, though, more like he's reminding everyone "I'm still here, and I'm hungry to play, so don't count me out" and generally as a retort to "we shoulda drafted Melo" by the fans). He also got big money. And his played professionally in Yugoslavia, so he learned as much as he probably would have in college. But college sports education is not enough, otherwise we would have college athletes turning stars left and right. In Darko's case, coming out of the European leagues, he lacked the general European lack of inside presence, despite his gifted weight (and he's still growing!) Had Darko been given consistant time, he could have learned a lot by now, a lot he would not have learned just by practicing. Now we will never know if sitting on the bench this long was good or not (I, for one, will actually say it was good, but who knows? Maybe he's an exceptional learner with exceptional drive to succeed, he could possibly even beaten out Lebron James for Rookie of the Year, again, we will never know). But chances are, losing out on play time may have slowed his progression and perhaps had a mental effect. Kinda like having a chip on his shoulder from day one. Of course, he did have that chip ever since he was drafted over Carmelo Anthony.

    But what about other possible players? Maybe some player could come out of college, sign endorsements all over the place, genuinely want to become a star and lead his team to the championship... but end up a bust because he just did not develop fast enough? Perhaps the skill jump was just too much. At that point, yes, he has money. But that's it, the end of his dreams. It's easy to say he can go back to college and right his life out, but after brushing the NBA with such high hopes, would it really be that easy?

    For the most part, I don't think the gamble is worth it enough to try grabbing the Pros by a hair. If the man's already a guaranteed top 10 pick, go to college, learn some, and go in to the Pros, become a guaranteed top 5 pick, or realize that maybe the Pros are not the course of action to take, and allow the teams to make a good stride towards victory and not disappoint the fanbase.
  • Nicci on June 10, 2004
    Pretty good job explaing Isamu.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on June 10, 2004
    Isamu, you got it dead on in that explanation.

    Take Rod Grizzard, a junior from Alabama who led the Crimson Tide to a #2 NCAA Tourney seed and the SEC West title in 2002. He coulda stayed for his senior year, and not only got a degree from a major state university, but likely gotten a higher draft spot.

    Instead, he went pro early, got taken 40th in the draft, and couldnt even make the 15 man roster of the Washington Wizards. Now he's in teh NBDL or Europe or somewhere, but especially he's not in the NBA. Had he waited a year and not seen $$ that wasn't there, he would've had an Alabama degree, probably another SEC title ring on his finger, and a first round GUARANTEED contract. He would've been assured lots of money for at least 3 years and its safe to say he'd be in the NBA now.

    Grizzard got selfish and threw a career away. It's a sad thing taht happens to way to many athletes like him.

  • Kathy (View Email) on November 17, 2004
    Good article, very true. Many teens think they are ready to go pro after a 4 years of high schhol game, high schhol is not nearly as intense as pro, they have no idea and should go through at least a year of training with the "big boys" befor they go.
  • Nathan (View Email) on January 11, 2005 at 10:50 AM
    I think that anyone should be allowed to enter pro sports. There have been SO many greats of the game to come right out of highscool. If the "pro high schooler" that he or she is succeeding or not, they can quit whenever they like.
  • kyle radu (View Email) on February 11, 2005 at 10:05 AM
    i think that this is true
  • Spencer (View Email) on February 15, 2005 at 10:42 AM
    hoooooooooo
  • Corey Miller (View Email) on February 17, 2005 at 7:51 PM
    high school athletes should be aloud to enter the nba and nfl i play football for winter park high school and i think im ready for the pros im jus as big as most of the pro athletes out there in every way and if we r good enough to enter the draft and if ur that good u should be aloud to play no matter wat if u think u can take them and u can than thats jus a big accomplishment
  • Naghena (View Email) on February 21, 2005 at 7:23 PM
    The maturity level of a high school student entering a professional sport, varies greatly. An example in LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. James is a great player and is also has a high maturity level. What I have seen him on and off the court is extravagant. He takes resposibility for what he needs too. Anthony is sliding in slowly of sucess as a great athlete, but that is it slowly. His maturity levels is that also of a college student, were in his case maybe he should of belonged. Posession of marajuna isn't that big of a deal, but in his case, him not being the best of athletes, people are going to use as a case against him, like I.
    Professional sports are tough,and rough, there is a lack thereof maturity, but If they prove the pstability both mentally, physically and maturely, I believe they then should be drafted. Owners should set them up in a situation, that will prove his or her maurity.
  • Jordan Jacobs (View Email) on February 23, 2005 at 11:52 AM
    Hey I agree that high school athletes must attend at least 1 year of any college. To let a young 18 year old into the nba is just stupid because they are inexperienced. Lebron James may be good but is he well-educated? Carmelo Anthony attended at least one year at Syracuse University so at least give him credit for trying to make it in the college world.
  • Abdi (View Email) on April 6, 2005 at 2:12 PM
    nooooo
    Iam big enoughto play quarter back for the nfl yeah yeah that is so true dude
  • Nolan (View Email) on April 7, 2005 at 1:16 PM
    Every one but Lebron James should go to collage no one will ever have a effect on a team like he did coming stright from the high school world.
  • Paul (View Email) on April 11, 2005 at 1:57 AM
    High school should have the choice to go pro or to college, it's their right. If our president can force kids to go to war at the age of 18 why can't they play professional sports. So if the athletes are not mature enough to play in the pros then they should raise the age limit of getting drafted.
  • jack (View Email) on April 11, 2005 at 11:35 AM
    Pro sports arent as excitng as college
  • Taylor (View Email) on April 12, 2005 at 11:29 AM
    I Think High school kids should not be able to go to the NBA because they need the learning expierience. Plus if they get hurt they could be in big trouble
  • James Perry (View Email) on April 15, 2005 at 10:04 AM
    I think that it should be aloowed because they have many athletetic people out thier thatis coming up
  • Casey Biggers (View Email) on April 16, 2005 at 4:26 PM
    I think that LeBron James should have gone to Ohio State to play basketball. It would have been nice to see them win a national championship.
  • Sporty Carter (View Email) on May 25, 2005 at 2:32 PM
    I think that the age dose not matter, what matters is the skill level. Now what happens when a good high school player gose to college and get hurt they would no have another chance and every body know that so I say there should not be an age limit. there is no age limit to go to war so why in sports maybe it because black people are takeing over basketball and foot just like my man jermain onel said
  • Tevan on September 15, 2005 at 7:10 PM
    i think if they are forced to fight in the war then they should have their own choice to go into pro sports except football they are not mature enough
  • will (View Email) on November 15, 2005 at 12:20 PM
    high school players should be alowed to play if they are that good
  • will (View Email) on November 30, 2005 at 9:35 PM
    High school players should have to go to collage for at least 2 years.
  • jason danby (View Email) on November 30, 2005 at 11:04 PM
    High school players need to develop through the maturation process that comes only from a college education and experience.
  • Jay on January 6, 2006 at 2:13 PM
    This is really lame u need to get yer imformation straight
  • kyle (View Email) on January 24, 2006 at 11:19 AM
    i think if ur good enough to go straight to the pros then u should be able to.
  • jacob on January 24, 2006 at 2:33 PM
    High school students are young and not even close to level needed for pro sports. GO TO COLLEGE!!!
  • Matt Obie on January 26, 2006 at 9:09 PM
    Thanks alot for this article. It really helped me with my sophmore research paper.
  • Evan Aamodt (View Email) on January 30, 2006 at 1:42 PM
    Thanks for the article it was very helpful for my English project!!!
  • Aaron Bowles (View Email) on January 31, 2006 at 12:47 PM
    kids are most of the time over rated coming out of high school.So what will be a greater test coming outof high school then to go to college. if they are so great than let it be proven on both levels high school, college, and then pro
  • cordero hill (View Email) on February 1, 2006 at 9:26 PM
    i would want to go pro thougth
  • T.J. forker (View Email) on February 3, 2006 at 2:34 PM
    this is stupid if you are good you should go and lucas has big muscles
  • tyler on February 8, 2006 at 9:26 AM
    i think that you can play in the nfl if your good and strong
  • billy (View Email) on February 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM
    i thank you should have to go to collage befor you are alloud going to the NFL......
  • Raymond Ulrich (View Email) on February 20, 2006 at 9:22 PM
    Great Website, i totally agree with every thing you say. I think LeBron is the only one that will ever be this good out of high school, he is just God-gifted. For the rest of these LeBron wannabes, STAY IN SCHOOL!!!!
  • Neddsa plowmen (View Email) on February 27, 2006 at 11:00 AM
    No they should not because they didn't got a pratice of whatever sport they picked and college is a better level than regular sports.
  • shayla loman (View Email) on February 28, 2006 at 10:48 AM
    No because students need a higher education then just jumping right off to sports and focus on the right thing. I'm a preacher so I know what it take to be all you can be. Its to hard these days but just stick with the Lord and he will make away.
  • isaiah slutter (View Email) on February 28, 2006 at 2:29 PM
    i completely agree with u
  • Michael d (View Email) on March 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM
    No because i think students should go onto college and play with kids their own sizes and try to learn some more for example if a boy wants to be a running back and he is say maybe 175-20olbs compared to a linebacker that wieghs about 250-270lbs and has been playing for a long time and hits that person because they don't know how to get out of the way and get really hurt peace
  • kwest on March 9, 2006 at 10:02 PM
    forget this rule my boy oj mayo is the best high school basketball player he should make his discion not tha comisner
  • Darion (View Email) on March 12, 2006 at 9:39 PM
    Im in high school and I will graduate in 2009 and I was hoping I could join the nba. I think you can sign for the nba draft but for the nfl you should have at least two or three years of college like reggie bush and vince young.
  • jimmy (View Email) on March 29, 2006 at 8:00 PM
    ya i have to do a report on this at school and i was questioning going pro but i went to college and had t writea position paper and it was cool but now im playing at duke and sitting onthe bench i should have gone pro
  • Ayano Jiru (View Email) on April 4, 2006 at 3:25 PM
    I have school essay to write about new rule that no more players from high school could enter nba. Can u emil me back information about way this rule works.
  • Jeff (View Email) on April 6, 2006 at 2:11 PM
    I'm doing a report for my school and i think it is alright for a high school player to go to the NBA...... what do u guys think and why?
  • Max (View Email) on April 7, 2006 at 12:41 AM
    I gotta write a paper for school and i need some articles about high school athletes going straight to the pros. I personally think that high school football players need to go to College, no high school player can take a hit from Ray lewis or anyone of that degree. Email me them articles
  • ????????????????? (View Email) on April 7, 2006 at 9:32 AM
    i am doing a debate assignment for school. which i am aginst high school athletes being given a routine drug test.
  • ak on April 9, 2006 at 11:28 AM
    They should go to the nba
  • josh (View Email) on April 12, 2006 at 2:50 PM
    I am doing a persuasive speech for school, are there any statistics that say people are better off going to college or pros?
    • Alayna (View Email) on February 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM
      If you ahve acces to the Facts on File, there is a whole article on the statisctics of athletes and how many are each league.
      This has helped me bunches onmy article.
      Hope it helps you.
  • Andrew McCray (View Email) on April 24, 2006 at 9:11 PM
    I am writing a research paper on high school athletes ,they are better going to college then to the nba.
  • bENNY (View Email) on May 4, 2006 at 2:13 PM
    i BELIEVE THAT LEBRON JAMES IS GREAT I BELIEVE THAT IF HE WOULD OF WENT TO COLLEGE HE WOULD BE OUTSTANDING COLLEGE IS ACCUAL BASKETBALL NBA IS STREETBALL I THINK LEBRON COULD OF BEEN BETTER THAN KOBE AND JORDAN IF HE DID GO TO HIGH SCHOOL HE WOULDNT JUST BE OUTSANDING HE WOULD BE AMAZING AND UNBELIEVABLE!!!!
  • B.T (View Email) on May 4, 2006 at 2:41 PM
    I gotta a paper for speech(persuasive) and i need some stats of kids who go to college and those who go straight to the pros...
  • BENNY (View Email) on May 5, 2006 at 2:13 PM
    DOES ANYONE KNOW A BASEBALL OR FOOTBALL PLAYER THAT WENT STRIGHT TO THE PRO FROM HIGH SCHOOL???


    PLEASE I NEED TO WRITE A REPORT
  • michael (View Email) on May 10, 2006 at 8:34 AM
    Im doing a report on this and i would apperciate if you could write another article
    on this topic. thanks
  • Breon Ayres (View Email) on January 3, 2007 at 2:15 PM
    I think that it's not ok for college students or high graduates to go straight to the NBA or NFL because they don't really have experience like some know you think that you can be a Reggie Bush or Maurice-Drew Jones or Laurence Maroney well no like them they stayed in college for to win and to break records and out do what they had to and I think that if u stay in college you will do the right thing and finish all your years because you might not know you may pick up another trait in life while attending that college!!!
  • Nelly (View Email) on January 17, 2007 at 12:48 PM
    Thats a shame.
  • Grant Singleton (View Email) on January 29, 2007 at 8:54 PM
    i agree with u they should finish college
  • Andrew Shew (View Email) on February 5, 2007 at 11:41 AM
    I think students should have to go to college and go all 4 years in college because if they get hurt or something and cant play basketball then what are they going to fall back on.
  • Joshua (View Email) on February 6, 2007 at 4:24 PM
    can you send me reports on should high school players go the pros
  • Chris (View Email) on February 8, 2007 at 5:12 PM
    yes students should go to coleege rather than pros... can you send me information about this topic or where i can look im writing a paper for my class
  • ashleigh (View Email) on February 10, 2007 at 8:32 AM
    I don't think they should go to the professional right after highh school, because they need to learn more and can even get better. If you go right after high school you probably won't get incruded to a very good team they will just want some one good so they'll ask you. people say though we can go to college after be a pro. Yah, but I woundn't want to go back to school after ending my carrer.
  • lance (View Email) on February 15, 2007 at 10:39 AM
    i dont care about what the d cuz both are goog choices look at the chiefs running back. larry johnson 18 years old he is god in the back feild
  • timmy (View Email) on February 25, 2007 at 11:02 PM
    I disagree because if the athlete is in college he doesnt have to try in school
  • dallas cassel (View Email) on February 26, 2007 at 1:48 PM
    they should be able to be drafted as long as there gogood enough , smart enough , and , strong enough!!!!
  • Raven (View Email) on February 28, 2007 at 9:43 AM
    I think they should go to the pros because you can always go to college... playing in the pros only comes once in a lifetime..
  • David (View Email) on February 28, 2007 at 12:13 PM
    should college athelets become por without finishing college
  • sull (View Email) on March 8, 2007 at 8:46 AM
    go to the NBA, its once in a lifetime chance, you can always go to college, even if you go to the NBA for three years and youre a failure, you can always go back to college and start your life there.
  • Bcoo (View Email) on March 11, 2007 at 12:49 AM
    The most important thing you are losing in high school players going straight to the NBA is the impact it has on the college game. I mean, imagine if LeBron, Kwame, Garnett, and Kobe had all gone to college? These guys would have learned how to play the game to the greatest level possible, allowing their entry into the NBA to be even greater than it is now! Instead of growing the game to a new level overall, you only cheapen the game by using the greatest talent there is and not developing it. This has contributed to a loss of fan support in the NBA. The pro game has become about the PLAYER and not about the TEAM. Really, name 5 players on the 2006 Heat team other than Shaq and Wade. Now, name 5 players that played on the 1996 Chicago Bulls other than Jordan. Exactly! The point is, if high school seniors would simply be made to go to college for 4 years, it would SIGNIFICANTLY increase the development of the college game, which in turn would pump more and more COMPLETE players into the professional ranks since all college players would have the chance to play with the very best talent the US has to offer.
  • Will Turman (View Email) on March 18, 2007 at 8:51 PM
    yup they should atleast have 1 year of college before going pro
  • JW (View Email) on April 9, 2007 at 6:48 PM
    College is a key part in being a big name in the Pros. Can you send me some stuff on this topic. I am doing a paper on this in one of my classes. Thanks
  • AS (View Email) on April 19, 2007 at 8:33 PM
    my speech class is doing a panel discussion on this topic, my side is arguing that athletes SHOULD go to college first, rather than go pro right out of high school, are there any other facts that you could share with me, or even any other articles on this topic. Your help would truely be awesome! thanks
  • mike (View Email) on May 2, 2007 at 11:28 PM
    it would be more appeasing to athlets if they got paid at the colliegate level..... but yea college before pros is right. can u give me info 4 a class paper as well
  • Demone Robinson (View Email) on May 4, 2007 at 1:17 PM
    Its ok to me for an highschool student go pro because what if that his only chance to go.
  • GORDO (View Email) on May 7, 2007 at 11:30 AM
    if h.s. kids are good enough why not let them go pro take a look at lebron and kobe. but ten again it isnt fair for players that do go to colledge
  • FOCKER (View Email) on May 14, 2007 at 8:31 AM
    WHAT I think that high schoolers should be able too go to the NBA because i am in high school.YOU GUYS ARE SO STUPID


    FOCKER OUT

  • Kelly (View Email) on May 21, 2007 at 2:20 PM
    ALL OF THE PEOPLE SAYING U CAN GO BACK TO COLLEGE AFTER GOING PRO UR WRONG. ONCE U ENTER THE DRAFT U LOSE WHAT U HAD....U CAN GO TO COLLEGE BUT U CAN NOT BE IN ANY ATHLETICS OR ANY OTHER EXTRA ACTIVITIES. ALL U CAN DO IS GET UR EDUCATION AND U HAVE TO PAY FULL PRICE U LOSE UR SCHOLARSHIP AND EVERYTHING U HAD. NO UR FACTS BEFORE U POST. OR BE MORE ADDIQUET IIN WHATH UR TALKING ABOUT.
  • john (View Email) on June 13, 2007 at 11:21 AM
    I think that if high school kids are at a pro level i think they should get into college because some of tht talented kids can not get into college with money issues or records so if there good enough they should into the NFL.
  • chuck (View Email) on October 2, 2007 at 11:49 AM
    yea i think u should go pro
  • Payton Jimison (View Email) on October 10, 2007 at 9:33 AM
    How would this effect other people? These kids can always go back to college after they retire when they have enough money to pay for college.
  • wilwalk3 (View Email) on November 5, 2007 at 3:52 PM
    to:Payton Jimison :: pjimis01@elmwood.k12.ar.us :: 10/10/2007, 09:33 AM
    How would this effect other people? These kids can always go back to college after they retire when they have enough money to pay for college.

    ---if you are good enough to go straight to the pros you wouldnt have to pay for college,any good college would give you a full athletic scholarship.
  • ben (View Email) on November 8, 2007 at 3:53 PM
    If they are good enough let them go. Getting drafted is a once in a life time thing.
    You can always go back to college and get your education.
  • Autrey #14 (View Email) on November 30, 2007 at 11:50 AM
    if they are able to be looked at and wanted by Pro Teams then they obviously have what it takes to get it done, and when they retire from the NBA, MLB, or NFL then I can gauntree you taht they will have enough money to go to college. So if they got it go with it. Don't hold back!
  • eric (View Email) on December 6, 2007 at 9:42 AM
    I agree with this article. These teenagers are not mature enough to take the game serious enough to play at that level and most would not be able to complete the rigorous pre-season, and the long season itself
  • Micaiah Dease (View Email) on December 7, 2007 at 12:45 PM
    I disagree with this article,to me going to the pros from high school is the right choice to make. But under a few circumstances.If the athlete can base the next 20 years in the sport then by all means go for it. Also if their a really great player then its the right decision. For the mone
  • Jaron (View Email) on December 16, 2007 at 8:34 PM
    This article is the truth. Most athlets would like to jump frome. High school and got to the pros.But most don't have the maturity to do that.
  • lebron (View Email) on May 5, 2008 at 3:50 PM
    i love lebron
  • hi on April 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM
    GIGGITY
  • al (View Email) on May 11, 2009 at 11:19 AM
    wooooo
    wooooo
    wooooo
  • terrell (View Email) on November 25, 2009 at 7:32 PM
    Forget all that im trying to get in to a college i know....im only 15years old and trying to get into college already. But i dont wont to waite to the last min. So can you please hlep me . What if you were me. Look I really need your help, I dont want to be like everyone. Iwant to be something.
  • Donovan (View Email) on January 14, 2010 at 10:57 AM
    I think they should go pro to make money then they can use the money to go back to college if they want and thanks for the article it helped with my english report
  • Chris Judkins (View Email) on January 26, 2010 at 3:01 AM
    Taking a balanced approach to sports is key. The NCAA recognition process, like any other bureaucracy, requires lobbying and pulling the right strings. Additionally, the NCAA is a pseudo-business, one of the largest sports enterprises in the country, if not the world. To stay in business, they have to give extra care to football and basketball programs before they support other sports that have a smaller draw. That's just the way it goes. Consider the professional sports arena: SuperBowl betting far eclipses any other gaming event of the year, proving that the NFL and football in general are tops on the list of sports for the average American.
  • kenzie on April 25, 2010 at 9:03 PM
    No disrespect or anything but Corey Miller; your comment is a perfect example of why athletes shouldn't rush into the pros. A huge majority of high school athletes get big egos from local fans, but then become intimidated by the pressure of the pros. If they play for a college, they're at least getting a sense of the pros. If you think the pros is gonna be like high school, well that's a problem in itself. What's an extra year or two of college ball going to hurt? If you go straight for the pros, its like skipping a step. Not everyone is going to have the capability to do that without falling. I just think these athletes need to weigh the pros and cons before they make a decision like that. At least if they go to college, they have something to fall back on.
  • Barbiegurl12 (View Email) on October 4, 2010 at 10:52 AM
    I think that high school athletes are old enough to make their own decisions. You should take a poll on high school students who play basket ball. You can see the percentage of what they think, and what they want to do when they get out of college.
  • jessesoto1122 on November 4, 2010 at 1:33 PM
    i think we should get a education before we get into a sport because education is something important in many peoples lives and i say school first then basketball. l am sure if u ask a pro that is in the NBA they will tell you to go to college first.
  • johnny (View Email) on December 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM
    pickles r nutricous and deeelicouse
  • evelyn (View Email) on April 11, 2012 at 2:21 PM
    ATHLETES SHOULD FINISH COLLEGE BEFORE GOING PRO~YEAHHH BROHH BE A SMART COOKIE....mmmmmm cookie, whens lunch? oh yeah already passed...tooo bad. CUPCAKE FIGHT L8R!!!
  • nigel cunningham (View Email) on February 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM
    nutter butters are an underrated cookie
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