NBA has power to negate college coaches' greed
Posted on: April 29, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 3:11 pm
Last year we had the potential of a 96-team NCAA tournament field to rabble about; in 2011, we have this. The new NBA Draft deadline. It's a horrid thing, really. Criticism abounds toward the coaches, as it should because, here we are, once again, seeing the people with no money having their needs largely ignored. It's a cheap move on behalf of wealthy, insecure men who have their own interest at stake.
It's stupid math. You can strip this issue down to this: most NBA teams don't have the time or desire to look at college players by mid-April, when more than half the league's teams are preparing for the playoffs. And the teams that won't be going to the playoffs, the ones who will be participating in the Draft lottery, those are the teams selecting the guys who normally don't have much waffling to do. They're already fairly certain of going to the NBA because they know they're a guaranteed first-round pick.
Though, this year does present an exception.
But otherwise, the players who need the extra time, those who are seen as mid-to-late first-round picks and beyond, they no longer have the option to weigh the options.
As of now. If you want hope for a return to a more-fair model, then know that, despite the fact this proposal has been passed, there are ways to prevent it from coming to be. First would be a rejection next January, when the Board of Directors could be faced with an override vote.
There are also other alternatives, like the I-think-it's-brilliant suggestion from John Gasaway this morning on Twitter: have every player eligible for the Draft. The ultimate trump card. No stay-or-go consternation. That will never, ever happen, though. It's a college coach's worst nightmare, and the logistics of evaluating and working out players could get really problematic.
If you want to stock your faith in something outside the NCAA, there's another being with a bigger power that can offset this legislation. That being: one National Basketball Association. The NBA has seldom acted with the interest of the NCAA and college basketball in mind. The odds aren't strong it's going to do something.
But it could. And it probably should.
As it stands now, players will have less than 10 days to make a decision on the NBA. Stay or go. Declare or don't. It's not a decision on declaring and choosing an agent or not -- it's you're there or you're back with us. Coaches want to scare kids into staying. We fear what we don't know. If players are uncertain of their stock, they're more likely to waddle back to campus with the intention of improving the next season, when more certainty -- hopefully -- will come after an added year's worth of play. A clearer picture and higher projected ranking in the multitude of mock drafts.
There is irony in how the coaches could get screwed. This push-push-push for an as-soon-as-possible Draft decision could -- could, not likely, but could -- cause the NBA to wield its mighty shield. If the NBA wanted to have its deadline moved to the end of May or June, meaning it would wait until then to evaluate players in workouts, the power shift would be on. The NBA would pull the rug out from under the coaches merely by saying, "We want to wait to see your players until they've graduated from college and the majority of our teams are done playing for the season."
The NBA should do this. It's the one choosing its labor force. College should have to adjust to the more powerful, more selective, superior being. The NBA should want more evaluation time and the final say in when it can have its players test its waters.
College fans will never love the NBA more than if it did this, something that would be an efficient, intelligent, patient and morally beneficial decision for both brands of basketball.