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David Stern Wants to Raise NBA Eligibility Age Limit

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This is not about my opinion, this is about the Constitution and the right to work. NBA Commissioner David Stern wants to change the eligibility age for coming into the NBA. Hey, as a fan, I say great. As an American, I say farce!

Sure, the college game and the NBA game would be served better (as would fans, teams, and their institutions) if the NBA could raise the minimum ageĀ  required to enter the Association. There seems to be no debate- the college game has suffered greatly from the “one and done” acts that Kentucky specializes in, and other teams look past as well. The play is sloppier, the fundamentals lacking, the shooting brutal at times.

The NBA would benefit as well, for many of the same reasons. I can appreciate the Commisioner’s desire to increase the age limit. Of course, the case can be made that some who have skipped college have done just fine. The Garnetts, Bryants and others are a credit to the NBA game. They are rare but they are out there.

But this isn’t about my own selfish wants and likes. This is about the right to work and earn a paycheck. That simple. At 18 or 19 years old, you are entitled and legally allowed to earn a living- and denying that right because a game is sloppy or lacks simple fundamentals is wrong. I laugh at this argument. Most-overwhelmingly would leave college or not go if someone was offering them a paycheck to work a desired job. It’s really just that simple. If someone had tossed a boat load of cash my way to leave school early and go to work at their radio station, it would be a no brainer. See ya, College. Hello, working world and paycheck. No thought needed for me.

I applaud those who stay in school, earn a degree and don’t go for the dollars. That’s wonderful. If you don’t need the money or want the check at that time, hey, more power to you. For many, that want or need overtakes the desire to stay in school. I get and respect that. Labor laws say you are entitled to go earn a living at a certain age. None of the early entrees into the draft break that law. Teams that want to draft that player and pay him are entitled. They also aren’t breaking those laws.

Again this is not about my selfish desires. This is about the law, and in my opinion, the NFL is lucky they had a favorable judge when deciding the Mo Clarett case. Yes, the games are served better. You can argue society is better served as well by that judgement. But is it constitutional? I don’t think so. If I were Clarrett I would have kept fighting it in the courts.

I give credit to Commissioner Stern for wanting to raise the age limit for entree into the NBA, but at the same time, say he is violating labor laws if he tries to press the case. The NBA raised their age limit to 19 a few years back and wants to negotiate with the players’ union to look into raising it further. I can see both sides of this for the union. Established players are losing jobs and losing wages based on their roster spots being taken by these younger players, so they want to fight for them. But at the same time, these new young guys will join the union and make bigger dollars when they are drafted, and that’s good for players to increase their paychecks. I see this as a no-win situation for those involved. But I also see it as a Constitutional issue and denying a young person the chance to earn a living at 18 or 19 violates that beloved document.

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