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Rep. Cohen asks NBA to allow 18-year-olds

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Within this whole mess involving Derrick Rose's changed grade at Simeon High School, it's hard to overlook the fact that the issue would be moot if it weren't for the pesky NBA rule barring 18-year-olds from entering the league.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. is asking Commissioner David Stern to rethink that policy.

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Cohen fired off two letters -- one to NBA Commissioner David Stern, the other to National Basketball Players Association director G. William Hunter -- saying the requirement that players be 19 and one year out of high school "is an unfair restriction on the rights of these young men to pursue their intended career..."

Cohen then loosely pointed the finger at the NBA for its policy making way for the recent scandals involving Rose and former USC star O.J. Mayo.

The NBA's policy -- which states that a player must be 19 and a year out of high school -- left Rose and Mayo with the option to go to Europe or attend college for a year before entering the draft. They both chose college, even though they weren't necessarily the most driven individuals in the classroom.

Ostensibly, this doesn't sound like a bad thing. Who wouldn't benefit from a year of university life?

I'll tell you who -- someone with NBA-caliber talent who has spent their lives entirely insulated and focused solely on basketball. People like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard "all of whom have led their teams deep into this year's playoffs," Cohen wrote in his letter.

The NBA said it would review Rep. Cohen's letter, but the only indication the NBA has given that a policy change might be imminent is from David Stern, who last month said that once the NBA's agreement with the players union expires in 2011, he wouldn't mind seeing the minimum age bumped up to 20.

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on June 4, 2009 11:39 AM.

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