In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Miguel Gonzalez, asks our panel of experts three questions: Should the NBA raise the age limit? Where will Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke head off to and should the College Football (CFB) committee expand the playoff bracket to eight teams?
1. Should the NBA raise the age limit to decrease the amount of one-and-done players in college basketball?
Kevin: Although I think there is a good chance that the NBA and the NCAA collude to increase the age requirement for the NBA, I think it would be a horrible idea and do a huge disservice to the players. For every mediocre one-and-done player sitting at the end of an NBA bench or in another league, there is a superstar one-and-done who didn’t need extra college seasoning to become successful in the league. Are there plenty of players that come out for the draft each year that are not NBA ready? Absolutely. However, these players need to have the “right to fail.” Who am I to tell a player that they can’t give it a shot going into the league? Some of these players went to play in college with one goal in mind — to make it to the NBA, and if they think they’re ready to go, they should be allowed to try. There have been many cases where players have had their draft stocks seriously hurt by coming back to school — James Michael McAdoo — or have gotten injured while they’re not getting a check — Kevin Ware. If the NBA and NCAA require players to stay in college even longer, I think more and more players will go overseas to play so they can get paid, and this will remove more talent from the college game.
Sean: To be eligible for the NFL draft, “players must have been out of high school for three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season.” This allows for the draftee to gain a degree in case their athletic dreams do not pan out, a safety net the NBA does not supply. In a study done by Amherst College, results showed that those who were drafted without degrees rarely went on to other careers, even when struggling in the league. Not every young athlete is Kobe Bryant and, in my opinion, NBA draftees need an education like those in other sports. The NBA needs to raise the age limit to decrease the number of one-and-done players in college basketball.
George: When a college athlete — of any sport — uses higher education as a springboard for their highly improbable professional career (only 1.2 percent of NCAA basketball players get into the NBA), it is an insult to education in general. If an athlete attends a college of university only to be drafted after a year of study, there is no point for them to attend school in the first place. The NBA should up the age limit, if only to prevent these young men from risking their future for a pipedream.
Kevin get 3 points for mentioning the downfalls of McAdoo and Ware. Sean and George get 2 points for analyzing NBA quotes and statistics.
2. Where will the Dodgers’ all-star free agent, pitcher Zack Greinke, head during the MLB off-season.
Kevin: I don’t think Zack Greinke is going anywhere. The decision to opt-out of his contract was purely financial. He’s 32 right now which means this is essentially the last chance for him to get a big money, long-term deal with any team. He wasn’t getting one at 35 when his deal was supposed to expire. He had one of the best season of his career during 2015 pitching for the Dodgers and I think staying in the National League will allow him to maintain that level of success. The Dodgers will also do everything they can to keep him in order to retain one of the best one-two punches in baseball with him and Clayton Kershaw.
Sean: To predict where all-star pitcher Zack Greinke will head during the MLB off-season is not an easy task, but as I have read the rumors, one team has caught my eye. I wish Greinke would come to New York, but sadly, I think he will go to our most hated rival, Boston. It has been reported that Greinke has been talking to his former teammate, best friend and the Red Sox director of pitching analytics, Brian Bannister, about joining the Red Sox in Boston and, as much as it pains me to say this, I think it is a good fit. I picture Greinke in a big city baseball market and I would not be surprised if that big city happened to be Boston.
George: Greinke will go to many places during the off-season, but the most important place he will go to is within himself. The distraught pitcher will soon realize that, despite seemingly having it all, he still does not feel complete. In search of fulfillment, he will embark on an epic journey around the globe. Through cities, countries, cultures, he will drink from the deep well of civilization, but always his mouth will be dry. Disheartened, he will go to the river, and while looking at his reflection, realize he was never unwhole, he was always Zack Greinke, MLB free agent. At the riverbank, the free agent will learn true freedom — and sign with the Dodgers again.
George gets 3 points for his vivid illustration. Sean gets 2 points for describing Greinke’s relationship with Bannister and Kevin gets 1 point for mentioning Greinke’s old age.
3. Do you think the CFB committee should expand the playoff bracket to eight teams?
Kevin: I don’t think that college football should expand to eight teams. Chances are there will not be five major conference undefeated teams at the end of the season. No matter how many there are in the field, there will always be one or two teams that people think got left out. There are teams that people think get left out of the college basketball field and that’s a field of 68. With so many teams having solid résumés, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. I also think that you don’t want to devalue the college football regular season. It’s arguably the most popular regular season in all of sports because every week is so important. Any loss can potentially end your hopes of making the playoffs and winning a title. If a team like Baylor runs the table, they will be in the playoffs. Every year, there is a legitimate argument to be made for why each team doesn’t make the playoffs
Sean: As much as I would love to be biased and say yes so my Notre Dame Fighting Irish would be in the playoff bracket without sneaking into the top four, the answer is no. If the committee were to expand the bracket to an eight-team playoff, then upsets would suddenly be a possibility. While upsets might be fun in March Madness, the committee does not want to see No. 1 Clemson lose to No. 8 TCU, which if an eight-team playoff were to happen, this would be a possibility. I love the idea of expanding the new playoff system, but the CFB committee will never do it and that is fine by me.
George: I think they should expand the bracket eventually, but they should wait out to see whether this trend continues, not base the decision on one season. Expanding the bracket will only work if college football remains competitive. Expanding will give teams in less-than-stellar conferences a shot at the championship, and make things more interesting for the audience. Take March Madness, for example. Part of the reason it’s so popular is because of the number of teams that compete. It allows the competition to include more dark horses to come out of the woodwork.
Kevin and George get 3 points for NCAA March Madness comparisons. Sean gets 2 points for pointing out the CFB committee’s reluctance to expand.
George wins Around the Dorm 8-7-6.