This is Cheezhead blogging for TPC. Some of the better people on this site are in this group. It's kind of where we can all blog, and if you're active you're welcomed. Anyway, to my blog. J.A.R. is, yes, where you get your pickles and other food. But that's a jar. J.A.R. stands for something. It's JustAnotherRant, which is what I'll do in this group. If something is on my mind, some controversial subject in sports, I'll probably blog it here.
So, to the blog. I'm going to be ranting about student-athletes leaving college before graduating to go to the NBA quicker. I'll list my thoughts, and in the end, I want you to decide what's right in the comments. So, here we go:
Money. That's the main reason. Student-athletes leave college to the NBA Draft early because of money. It's not just a reason; it can be used as an excuse to. But I don't like that idea. The money can wait. These players should wait until they graduate before they enter the NBA Draft. Here's why:
First off, even though it may seem exaggerated and/or corny, there's the college experience. Everyone says college is something that you can't replace. But these people are leaving this experience for basically a job. Remember, professional sports is a job, it isn't just a game. How many people do you hear leaving college early to start rocket science early, even though it's a high-paying job just like sports? I sure don't here too many.
Also, I don't care about what all of these people say about injuries and draft stock and everything. I believe if you stay in college, your draft stock will go up. If you are that good that guys will pay you millions before you're even a senior in college, you are good enough to improve in the next few years of your college career. Your draft stock will go up, and you will get more money than you would have got if you left early. You might even earn enough that you're making more money than what you would have.
Anyway, if your draft stock goes down, don't cry about it! No matter where you go in the draft, no matter if your draft stock goes up, down, sideways, or in a spiral, you are going to be making more than the average American. By a lot. Professional athletes, even the 57-overall players in Madden 2008, make more than what you (the reader) will probably make in your life.
And if that what-if-you-go-down-with-an-injury-and-can-never-recover? problem is still in the way, listen. I know that injury will hurt your future and will make you wishing you never stayed in college, but how many times has somebody passed up the NBA and get a career-ending injury the next year in college? I can't think of too many. Look at it this way: What if you go pro and you get an injury and you can never get back to full strength? You'd be wishing you would've stayed in college. It isn't like staying at school will give you an injury 90% of the time just because you could have gone pro and it's a bad omen.
Also, think about your team. If you are a lottery-pick player, chances are your team will be projected to go deep in the bracket if you stay. Kids always dream of taking their school to the National Championship and hitting the game-winning shot. You'll never get that trophy if you enter the draft. The National Championship is a great thing to have and I'm sure I'd want to go to the Final Four and win it all if I got the chance.
And last but not least, think about your coach. Your coach worked and worked and worked to get you on his team. He saw you as the player that can lead the team for the next four years. Not one or two. So now you're a freshman or sophomore, and you're leaving the team for the Draft. Coach hasn't been recruiting hard in your position because he expects you to be there leading the team, and now there's a blank spot on the roster. He hasn't looked for the big names in that postition because he didn't expect this to happen. Now what will he do? Don't think it happens? Look at it this way: Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts were recruited and looked to be the next J.J. Reddick-Sheldon Williams combo. McRoberts went pro before this season. Josh is now in D-League and doing nothing. Duke went all year with analysts saying how they don't have an inside game. McRoberts was the inside game. They dropped out of the tournament in the 2nd round. If the Devils had McRoberts, they wouldn't have had to rely on the 3-pointer, which is why they lost in the tournament; threes werent' falling. They could have fed McRoberts the ball and gave him points. Defenses wouldn't be able to stack around the perimeter with him inside. If Josh didn't go pro, the Devils could have gone far in the tournament. Think about how Texas and Ohio State struggled after Kevin Durant and Greg Oden left after their freshman year. Think about how Kansas State, USC, and Indiana will struggle with no Michael Beasly, O.J. Mayo, or Eric Gordon there. (Gordon, by the way, is a lose-lose situation for Illinois. After going against his verbal commitment to the Illini, fans hated him for going to Indiana. If he stayed, he would be hated for leaving them)
So, did I convince you? Let me hear in the comments. I think it's smart to stay in college all four years. What about you?