Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Goodbye to DJ and AJ

Looks like DJ and AJ will be leaving the longhorns for the NBA. I'm sure it's a tough decision, but at least for DJ, it's a hard thing to pass up. If you are going to be a lottery pick, it's almost reckless to keep playing in the NCAA. If you really like school, you can go back to school when your NBA career is over. Maybe even during your career like Vince Young is doing (although he's playing football). A lot of folks are crying about this ruining college basketball.
Some folks have suggested raising the NBA age to 21. That's just wrong. If someone has the ability to work for a lot of money, you shouldn't deny that person from the ability to earn. What's a better way? How about giving a stipend to the players? Something comparable to a TA's salary, around $1000/month during the season. The players are putting a lot of time into the playing (time they could be spending working) and a lot of folks pay good money to watch them play. How to pay for it: how about a salary cap on coaches? Wouldn't this hurt the small schools? Maybe, but they are already at a disadvantage, and anyway. If you are worried about competition, let more money accrue to the smaller schools.
You might argue that $1000/month isn't much closer to $1,000,000 than $0, but I would argue it is. $1000/month for a student is a lot different than $0. The less money you have, the greater that value of a single dollar. It won't stop everybody from leaving, but it might convince a few more to stay, especially the bubble cases like AJ.

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