NCAA March Madness vs. NBA draft policy: Are changes needed? (Part I)

The logo for the NBA draft.

The NBA Draft Logo is on the minds of March Madness players who hope to make the leap to the NBA this summer, but as debate heats up it is clear that changes should be considered.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As March Madness continues to draw more basketball fans to the television, the topic of players making it to the National Basketball Association (NBA) frequently comes up. The current model for the NBA draft allows for players to declare for the draft a year after graduation from high school. The common route for exceptional players is to spend a year in college playing basketball before declaring for the draft, a prospect that many are unhappy with and constantly discuss.

NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West

NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West has shared his views about the draft policy.

It is clear that the current NBA draft model is unpopular with many fans and players. Among the complaints with the model are the claims that NBA product is being compromised, the NCAA product is disturbed, and that the majority of the young players are unprepared for the fame, fortune, and high expectations. Although there is validity in some of these concerns, there are also exaggerations attached as well. Hall of Famer Jerry West, recently commented on the issue, in assessing the NBA talent pool.

“The NBA is in the worst shape it’s ever been,'” he said. One of the reasons for his critique was based on the number of young players yet to mature into what they were expected to as they were brought into the league. Another Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley, took it a step further by making it very clear that players need more time.

“I want kids to stay in college for two years…bad teams aren’t getting help, they’re getting projects,” Barkley said.

Barkley has been vocal as a March Madness commentator in sharing his opinion that college players need a minimum of two years in college to mature enough to be productive in the NBA as soon as they are drafted.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley

Hall of Famer /TNT and March Madness Commentator Charles Barkley has consistently stated that potential NBA players need a minimum of two years in college in order to develop their game.

While West and Barkley are focusing on negative aspects of young players drafted in the NBA, they are completely absolving the executives that are paid millions to evaluate and enhance the performance of the young players they bring into the league. In fact, there is no direct correlation between age and performance as demonstrated by many of the recent draft classes. When supporters of players being eligible to enter the NBA straight out of high school mention recent ‘One-and-done players’ who are successful in the NBA, the counter is to call them ‘exceptions.’

The reality is every NBA player is the exception. Additionally, there is little to show that players like Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, or John Wall needed to stay in school a second year in order to become good players in the NBA. However, there is no escaping the reality that there is always an abundance of players not quite good enough to excel at the highest level of basketball, regardless of how long they prepare before entering the league. A possible solution is changing the NBA draft to resemble the college draft rules of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Anthony Davis (l) and Kyrie Irving (r) are former number 1 overall picks that spent less than two years in college.

Anthony Davis (l) and Kyrie Irving (r) are former No. 1 overall picks who spent less than two years in college.

MLB’s draft rules allow players to declare for the draft straight out of high school but if the player elects to go to college he must stay for at least three years. The NBA should adopt that rule and amend it to two years in college. The NBA is the best place for players to improve their games.

“College coaches work more on masking a player’s weaknesses…rather than improving the player and risk losing in the process,” NBA trainer and ESPN insider David Thorpe said about the issue.

Thorpe’s assessment explains why so many players have several skills that need to be developed, even after spending years in college. If the NBA wants to improve its product then the new commissioner, Adam Silver, and his team needs to hold the million dollar executives who own and operate NBA teams accountable for better scouting and developing of the young players drafted in the NBA.–

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on

March Madness continues to enrich many, just not the players

The NCAA showcases March Madness across four different stations.

The NCAA showcases March Madness across four different stations.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Conference tournaments in college basketball wrap up this weekend, followed by selection Sunday, then the eventual start of the NCAA tournament this coming week. Once the teams are selected, people can begin the tradition of filling out their brackets and hoping their bracket wins whichever pool they have entered.

The one-and-done format of the NCAA basketball tournament provides many intriguing outcomes, including upsets and close games, while also having the best college stars performing at their best. Ironically, while the college players are giving everything they have to win the tournament, everyone else involved in the tournament has a chance to get rich.

Warren Buffet (l) and Dan Gilbert (r) sponsor a promotion that will reward a lucky participant with one billion dollars for a perfect bracket.

Warren Buffet (l) and Dan Gilbert (r) sponsor a promotion that will reward a lucky participant with one billion dollars for a perfect bracket.

Warren Buffet and Dan Gilbert are offering a billion dollars this year for any person with a perfect bracket, who correctly predicts the winner in the NCAA tournament. Although it is unlikely that anyone will collect the prize, it is the largest prize ever offered for this tournament. But the casual fans aren’t the only ones that will cash in on March Madness, if one lucky fans do predict all the winners.

As usual, the NCAA will profit quite handsomely with their television deal and piqued interest this tournament produces. The expanded coverage now allows fans to watch every game across four different stations at once. The wider television coverage helps increase the chance fans can catch all the best moments the tournament has to offer.

While college basketball fans appreciate being able to see the game of their choice, it is still hard to escape the reality that the players who will generate millions of dollars are unable to earn from their own efforts. So another March Madness gets ready to begin but nothing changes for the players, who give their best, for nonexistent financial rewards. –

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on