By Matt Moore
Rutgers men's college basketball head coach, Mike Rice, posted on Twitter Thursday morning that he's "hearing" that "NBA owners want to adopt same rule as NFL. Players will have to wait 3 yrs(sic) to enter the draft."
It's the first we've heard of such a proposal in the CBA talks, though an adjustment to the age rule has been discussed. Moving to three years would radically change the landscape of the NBA, shortening career spans, damaging the ability to develop raw talent, and limiting the effectiveness of the D-League. It would also allow college to weed out bust players and take the burden of development off NBA clubs. It's also an idea that the players union would likely hate, but might be willing to compromise on to get a few extra Bucks out of BRI.
The debate on how long to keep players in college is always going to be a tense one. It touches on the question of limiting a person's earning potential, protecting the college game and pro investments, and of course, the always sensitive subject of the exploitation of athletes by the NCAA. Rice, being a member of a profession that would be greatly helped by getting their talented players locked in for three years, isn't an objective source, by any means, but the whisper in the wind is certainly enough to perk up an ear. More and more it seems likely that after this new CBA is finally agreed upon, the NBA won't look anything like it has in recent history.