clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Working the System??

More like telling it to buzz off...

There has been a lot of talk about Brandon Jennings going to play in Europe if his latest test scores don’t pass scrutiny on the NCAA (Ed. Note - it looks like he didn't pass). I won’t speculate about why he has had to take the test two or three times but Jennings is in a position to really turn things on its head.

Jennings is a blazing fast 6-foot-2 point guard from Compton, Calif. He is Rivals.com's No. 4 player in the Class of 2008 Rivals150, having just set single-season scoring marks at hoops powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

The only reason he will not be drafted this week is the NBA's age limit that prohibits teams from drafting players until they're at least one year out of high school. Like every other top player, Jennings, should he qualify academically, could go to college (in this case Arizona), pretend to be a student (all he'd need are two D's in the fall semester) and then bolt to the NBA next spring.

Only Jennings isn't any other player. He looks at this entire charade for what it is, a system designed to help the NBA and the NCAA make money, but not necessarily provide much for guys such as him (a fit of worldly logic that ought to define his intelligence more accurately than the college boards).

As a result, he just might turn the thing on its ear. Even if he does academically qualify, he is strongly considering telling college hoops, "no thanks," and either spending the year playing professionally in Europe or Israel, or signing with an agent and working out with personal trainers and coaches.

These kids are getting smarter and they see the situation for what it is, a charade. Coaches are allowed to bolt when ever they want to chase a better gig yet the players are not allowed because of some antiquated rules.

Myles Brand is kidding himself if he thinks he is going to educate a kid who plans to only stay one year. Heck most of these kids are hardly in terested in school and because of the NBA's mandatory one year rule with all the hangers-on and posse's hanging around there will also be more O.J. Mayo type scenarios because the landscape is fertile for corruption.

If Jennings opts out of college he is essentially flipping the bird to the the college game and its old rules. He knows everyone makes money off of the players and the players are the one with the most restriction. The argument about a free education is hollow if the player doesn't stick around. Heck most of these players are essentially using the system for their own gains with some of them leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

Whether this will happen remains to be seen. That it can happen is undeniable though.

Even more intriguing, Jennings may set a trend immediately. One powerful basketball insider said at least two other top-20 national prospects are considering Europe with Jennings.

"It'll be a good thing for the kids and a bad thing for the college coaches," Jennings told The Times.

Jennings could be the next trailblazer in the sport in terms of finding a way to maximize his potential without having to cow tow to the recruiting process and disingenuous coaches. Provided they are top talent players could then take runners for all they can looking for the highest bidder and do it all out in the open because they have no intention of going to college.

The college game will once again be the left holding the bag in terms of a damaged product. Whether he makes the move or not it is going to happen sooner or later with some player willing to take the chance or if some top prospect is ruled ineligible for whatever reason.

I certainly don't have the answers here but you can see this becoming a more viable option in the years to come as kids decide to skip the NCAA with all their restrictions and antiquated rules.