Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bryce Harper/Age restrictions in sports

For those of you who don't know Bryce Harper is a 16yo High School student who was recently on the cover of Sports Illustrated and is being labeled as the "chosen one" in regard to his baseball talent. He recently announced that he is going to drop out of High School (he is currently a sophomore) and attain his GED so that he can be eligible for the draft sooner. He has taken a lot of grief from many people saying that he is throwing away his education and is growing up to quickly. What are everyones thoughts on this? To give you a bit of a breakdown of what American sports are requiring now:

Must be at least 16yos and have completed High School (or attained its equivalent)
Recently instated you must be at least 19yo and have completed HS (or equivalent)
(no age restrictions) But must have +3 years after you completed HS (or equivalent). If you are in college and have completed your sophomore year you must complete junior year to be eligible for the draft.

The NFL has arguably the best policy for making kids go to college, and only recently did the NBA put something in place that will make it impossible for most kids to come right out of High School to go into the NBA. But is this the right way?

Look at Soccer leagues in Europe. The only age requirements is that you have to be able to get a work permit which in most European countries thats 14 or 16. You don't need to graduate High School, no need to attend college. This is often cited as the reason that American Soccer players aren't as good because they have to go through the "American" way which is High School, College, and then a Club Team/National Team. By the time they are 22 and coming out of college everyone else in the world has been playing on a club team for years. Should kids in American be able to join up a professional sports team whenever they want? There are obvious pros and cons.


pex said...

I don't think there should be any age restrictions personally. If someone is good enough to play professionally at 16 then why stop them. What is the point of an education ultimately? It's so that you can make money and support yourself. Professional athletes make plenty of money.

Of course theres always a chance that he injures himself after a year, but thats the risk youve gotta be willing to take if you wanna make it big. In the end it should be the kids choice.

Prime said...

oo man i could write an essay on this one but ill just make a few pointers since im at work....

- I agree with pex and I dont think there should be any age restrictions. I agree with the whole, you can vote you can go to Iraq, why cant you play in the nba or nfl. Do I think its a smart idea for people to skip college (or in this case high school) to go pro? Most of the time its not. In fact I think when I studied it in college it was like 95% of the time its a mistake. But I mean, thats the persons own fault if thats their choice, a choice I think they should have.

- The Bryce Harper dude is completely nuts if he thinks he can play MLB as a Junior in High School. If he is just looking to get drafted to make some cash off a signing bonus and play in the minors for awhile, yea he can probably do that. But High School baseball to pro baseball isn't even remotely comprable. Baseball definetly is the sport with the biggest jump between "skill levels", which is why you have so many minor league levels, and ultimately why you hardly ever see anyone contribute in the majors, better yet be a star before age 22.

- Not completely in touch with the blog post, but the NBA age rule of one year in college (or overseas) is the worst rule ever established. This rule was put into place simply to make money off of hype, both for NCAA bball and the NBA. It benefits the NBA because the players that are getting drafted have some hype from playing in the NCAA, and obviously helps the NCAA who gets hype over who lands the big recruits. Since this rule went into place however, the corruption in NCAA recruiting has become ridiculous. Derrick Rose has someone take his SAT, OJ Mayo's uncle is hired as a consultant for USC with a $250,000 salary, and pretty much every big recruit somehow has their AAU Coach hired at the same school they choose to go to under fake titles for big money (ultimately money that get split with the recruit). Dont really have the time to dig up the research on all the major cases I know of like this, but it happens at an alarming rate.

term said...

With parent's consent, kids should be able to go pro whenever they want.

The only problem with this is if these kids do drop out of sports due to injury, etc, they will basically have no meaningful job. So what, right? Wrong. In modern society, every single person that doesn't have a job means more money out of YOUR paycheck in taxes to bail out some of the complete failures in life. And I actually believe that the kids who go play pro without a proper education, then aren't successful, deserve the least bit of sympathy. I mean, these kids can go to school for free and basically make themselves better at what they do while getting a degree, then still go to play in the pros.

nyphon said...

i actually disagree. i like the age restrictions. the dude boski is talking about is a prime example. could he be in the mlb as a junior in high school? no way (like prime said). he would get destroyed and probably ruin his entire career. if he takes the path of a normal kid, he will develop and who knows, maybe become the next randy johnson.

to chime in on prime's comment about NBA, there is going to be cheating no matter if the kids can go straight to pro from high school or not. if high school kids can go pro in nba, think how much tougher it is for college coaches to recruit. they have maybe 3 scholarships a year to give out, and they start recruiting these kids when they are in like 9th grade to build relationships. a coach spends 4 years building that relationship, then the kid decides to turn pro and skip college, fucking over the coach and trying to scramble to find another player to fill the gap.

as for NFL, that league is full of beasts and a high schooler would get broken in half if he tried to join. i disagree with prime and think nfl would be the biggest jump from high school (over mlb). Maybe from a skill level prime is right, but from a body maturity and "x's and o's" knowledge NFL would be a bigger jump.

at the end of the day, MLB, NBA, and NFL are private organizations and can do as they please. If they don't want high school kids, then they don't have to. who cares if the kids can vote or fight in a war.

Staboski said...

Another thing that I read regarding this kid was alot of people are worried that this will inspire other kids to do this. Where this Bryce kid does have the gift and this will probably end up working out for him, this example will cause other kids (and their parents) who think they are the next star player to go this route. And these kids are not even comparible to these wonder kids are.

The problem with trying to compare this is that you can't really see examples in the same sport because the major sports in the US are ones that aren't popular else where. Baseball is big in other places and Basketball has picked up in Europe, but all of their best players play in the MLB or NBA, their leagues can't compete with ours. We are the only ones who play "American Football". You could try and compare Soccer but our leage is still in its infancy compared to everyone else in the world so its hard to compare there.

But I mean with most of these kids they squeak through High School, if they go to college they sleep through the classes, if they don't make it in the pros most of them will find if very difficult to make it in the real world, even if the leagues "force" them to "grow uop".

Prime said...

well i actually pretty much cant argue against any of nate's points, i agree with all of them. There will always be cheating in recruiting, although the new trend of paying the "one and done's" through a 3rd party employee would go down if you got rid of the age restrictions. i actually think that there should be a requirement that if you get an athletic scholarship, you have to stay in school for 2 or 3 years or you have to pay the scholarship back (or some sort of equivalent rule). But if the NBA, MLB, NFL want age restrictions, I agree they should have them. I take back my war and vote comment now, cause your right they are private and have the choice. No different then a job requiring a Bachelor's Degree or a certain amount of experience etc. etc.

The only thing I disagree with is the college coach who spends 4 years recruiting a player only to be screwed. For one, I don't think college coaches should even be allowed to talk to non-seniors, but thats neither here nor there. If recruiting has stoooped so low to the extreme that you have to start talking to kids as a freshman, then people getting burned is going to happen all the time unfortunately. All in all I just hate the one and done rule....needs to be 2+ years or just get rid of the rule.

And yea NFL is the biggest jump, wasn't really even thinking about that though because I can't see any high schooler being that dumb to try and make that jump, just from a physical perspective, but who knows I guess.

Basically I hope this guy becomes a bust, although I think with all the hype now he'll end up being a high draft pick, and his signing bonus will probably be more than I'll ever make in my life, so I guess I cant really criticize to much.

Staboski said...

I like Prime's scholarship idea. You need to stick it out for 2 years or pay part of it back. Its similar to what the NFL has set up to encourage kids to stay in school. I think the the NFL's system is the best for keeping kids in school. The MLB's is good, I mean if you come out of HS you are pretty much going straight to the minor leagues (but most of the kids that come out of college head there as well). Now lets try and look at soccer. Here in the US the players aren't playing their first real club matches until they are 22, in europe they've been introduced since 18-19. And it shows when we go up against them.

The NBA "one and done" is BS. Some writer said some shit like look at last year, it made it such a better season, not true. Guys who play for 1 year and roll out don't do any good in the long run. You can't work your ass off to bring some superstar into the program and then he leaves the next year. It hurts in wasted scholarship, hours of recruiting, etc. I mean picture signing some incredible talent, who is playing his freshmen year and just dominating. You send your scouts out, hey gang, look at our program, look at who we got at the point position and then the kid walks out the next year and its back to rebuilding time.

Prime said...

I'm not sure what the answer for US Soccer really is. I don't see us ever having much of a club system because ultimately there just isn't, and doesn't seem like there will be a big enough fan base to support a really good club system like overseas. With no facts to back up my argument, I think another big reason US soccer is lacking is because of how un-popular it is and how little tv time it gets, a lot of the great athletes who probably would choose soccer in europe, choose other sports here. I mean just thinkin about college sports, I have seen football, basketball, baseball, hockey, lacrosee, softball, and volleyball on tv more than (college) soccer off the top of my head (and I actually remember seeing college wrestling on not too long ago, but couldn't name you the last time I saw college soccer).

pex said...

soccer is the most played youth sport in the US. I think with time all the kids who are playing now will become the soccer fan base of the future. Soccer is already huge as a sport in general in the US, soon enough it will be big as a professional sport as well...imho

nyphon said...

we need the gros to start play soccer. they are the athletically gifted

pex said...

what are these gros you speak of. i wonder though if they were to start playing soccer in the streets as kids instead of basketball if they would actually be good

Prime said...

haha for real on the "gros". Can you imagine if like Adrian Peterson would've started playing soccer at a young age with his speed and size. dude could just foundation people all day long.

pex said...

think about it though, where do the gros actually excel? football, basketball, track. These sports are moreso about physical prowess than actual skill. Obviously that is a general stereotype, but football is about being big and running fast, basketball about jumping high, and track goes without saying.

Look at the positions that take skill in football such as quarterback, predominantly white guys. Runningbacks only need to be able to run and juke, ala running from a lion or bear.

I'd say that soccer is heavily skill based. Whether it be accurate passes or good ball work, not to mention proper decision making. For some reason when I think of gro soccer players I think of Booker. Fast with no skill. This obviously isnt universally true, but maybe they just dont have the genetic makeup to let them be good in soccer like they are in other sports.

Its hard to argue though because as was previously mentioned, they dont play soccer at a young age. They play the other sports that we already know they are good in

nyphon said...

pex, whether your post was meant to be funny or not, i found it extremely amusing. "Runningbacks only need to be able to run and juke, ala running from a lion or bear." hahahahahah

I definitely see where you are coming from in your post, and i kind of agree. but could you equate good ball handling skills in basketball to ball handling skills in soccer? i think you could. plus, i wouldn't small play the use of speed in soccer. being really fast and pretty good at soccer will get you far (i.e. polak)

pex said...

yes the post was meant to be humorous but still reflect my opinion. i agree about basketball too, it definitely takes skill to be a superstar. there are always exceptions. really though how many great dribblers do you see..i'm not gonna hate and say its easy to shoot a basketball, but on the grand scale of things dunking, shooting, laying up doesnt, in my opinion, require as much skill/coordination as handling a ball with your feet.

and yes of course speed is a huge factor in soccer. speed alone isnt enough though or we'd already have a dominant team filled with newly recruited gros

Staboski said...

On this soccer talk show I watch (with two british guys hosting it but is filmed in Cali.) they always say regarding american soccer..."not to sound racist but when a youth soccer league gets put up in Harlem look out the rest of the world"