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Research Paper (controversy with High School Students Playing Professional Sports Directly After Graduating)

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The NBA has been known for being an enormous source of entertainment throughout the world. It provides the world with the excitement of professional basketball games throughout the United States and even in foreign countries. The NBA is famous for signing the greatest basketball players who graduate from college or come straight out of high school. Fortunately, the NBA has changed its policy as of June 26th 2005 by enforcing a new age limit rule, which has brought the NBA into the limelight. The new age limit rule will prohibit players from being able to jump directly into the NBA draft, straight out of high school. The news spread rapidly across the United States, bringing about the controversy as to why high school graduates cannot jump directly into professional sports. The NBA's decision to impose the age limit rule will only benefit young high school graduates in the near future. The new age limit rule will allow high school athletes to prepare themselves before they attempt to take part in professional sports. It has become apparent over the past few years that high school athletes are making the jump towards professional sports, instead of going to college.

The NBA's new age limit rule went into effect six weeks after the 2005 draft was completed. The rule will no longer allow high school athletes the freedom to make the jump directly to the draft, unless they are already nineteen years of age in the year of the draft. Athletes graduating from high school will be forced with a decision as to what they plan to do with their year off. Players have several options they may consider investing their year after high school. For instance they may follow in the footsteps of Mike Williams; a high school football star that intended on attending USC, but decided he wanted to play professional sports. He ended up not attending USC, and signed with an agent to get him some funds toward his future earning and got trainers to arrange private workouts to physically prepare him for the draft. (Http://www.bullseye.com//channel/sportsdraft.htm)

Athletes who are bound to play professional sports may consider other options, which aren't as costly as Mike Williams. They may choose to travel overseas and play basketball and earn money from foreign leagues. A minimal number of athletes will have the option to play for the CBA, ABA or the NBA's National Basketball Development League (NBDL). The age limit for these semi pro basketball leagues are only eighteen and players will have the opportunity to make a salary of twenty-four thousand plus boarding and traveling expenses. Players may also be interested in attending a division one college or prep school, where they will be able to keep in shape, physically prepare themselves and gain maximum exposure.

In today's society Americans believe sports are the path to upward social mobility. This belief has developed within little poor boys and men, from urban and rural areas. After witnessing a hand full of young athletes get the opportunity to play sports and earn millions. Some low income families feel the only way for their family to become wealthy is through the success in sports. They believe if their child can play professional sports, they should have no age limit. Society views how big name professional sports players like Tracy McGrady who bypassed college and signed a twelve million dollar deal for six years with Adidas. It's very common young athletes look up to Michael Jordan who made 100 million in 1998, from his endorsements, merchandise sales and salary.(www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/mar99eitzen.htm) Although sports athletes make astounding amounts of money, society only realizes the grossed salary. One thing society fails to witness is a majority of the greatest sports players of all time attended college to prepare themselves for professional sports. However in today's society that is no longer the case. Many minorities assume professional sports are the key to social mobility. Yet they believe in considering great wealth through a sport which is possible; but in reality the chances are highly improbable.

Athletes today are blinded by the dollar signs, and driven by the hype in the media. They do not realize the risks involved with professional sports. They are not realizing the new age limit rule in affect will actually benefit them if they go to college. Many players don't realize their not physically capable to endure professional sports on a physical level or maturity level. Athletes come into the league not toned enough to compete at the professional level putting them at risk of injury. Their bodies react differently when compared to fully developed bodies. High school graduates won't be able to endure the punishment and series of workout they're going to come across. Many of these young athletes will suffer from a symptom called burnout, where the muscles become fatigued and wont be able to perform anywhere near their peak. (Http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/sports/basketball/28draft.html) The Professional level of sports has been known for being draining, considering their schedules are a lot more demanding then high school seasons. Many athletes don't realize high school sports don't prepare you for professional sports.

In many cases high school graduates realize their not physically capable enough to compete, yet they take their chances. All athletes understand there are rare exceptions such as Lebron James who can jump directly into professional sports and dominant. Gerald Green a high school athlete who played for Gulf Shores Academy in Houston: made history by being one of the last high school players to be drafted in the NBA this year. Green said " I guess it was a smart move to tae this new rule, because there are a lot of players that come out of high school that are not really prepared. Green is one of many high school athletes who understand the physical boundary between high school sports and professional sports. (Http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/sports/basketball/28draft.html

What happens to those high school graduates who bypass college and go directly into professional sports? Unfortunately professional sports aren't for everyone. There have been many cases where athletes have been drafted and few months down the road they get dismissed. Studies have shown that of the minorities who enter Division One sports only 45% graduate from college and only 57% of those whom go professional are somewhat successful. (Http://www.zmag.org/zmag/mar99eitzen.htm) This is one reason why athletes consider playing professional sports. Players have suffered from permanent injuries disabling or physically keeping them from playing sports. What's left now when you don't obtain a degree to help get you a job working outside the NBA? These men now have the opportunity to work fast food like

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