Major sporting activities across the world are faced with tremendousethical dilemmas. Be it football, basketball, or volleyball, thereare always issues that call for ethical standards to be observed. Thequestion of age limit in the National Basketball Association (NBA) isone ethical dilemma that has affected the sport for over two decades.The 2006 NBA draft set the age limit for players intending to play atthe league at 19 years. This implies that high school graduatescannot play and are forced to join college for at least a year beforejoining the NBA. A 2015 U.S.NEWS article by Garofalo titled “TheNBA Age Limit Is (March) Madness”, discusses this issue deeply.Thesis sentence: The NBA age limit denies high school graduates anopportunity to make money, forces youngsters who might not beinterested in college education to go to college and enrich thecolleges which use these young professionals, but also promoteseducation while protecting the youngsters from making bad financialdecisions.
For many years, the NBA has been forcing high school graduates tojoin college and play in the NCAA before in order to achieve theminimum age limit set. Primarily, many high school graduates are agedbelow 18 years. This implies that they do not meet the minimum 19years age limit requirement. It is unethical for the NBA to force thestudents to join college while they might not be interested injoining. This is an issue that has led to the aspect of one-and-doneplayers where the students join college for only a year beforedeclaring their interest for the NBA draft. College administratorsare concerned about this issue. When it is not their business aboutthe age limit by the NBA, it is clear that they are bothered by thefact that they are being used as stepping stones by the young pros(Garofalo 1). Although the NBA may have the intention of allowing theteenagers to have a college education, they ignore the fact that thishardly happens. The decision by NBA to put an age limit, which,according to the article was to be raised to 20 years, is ethicallyunacceptable. Players should be allowed to decide what they want topursue one they are above the maturity age of 17 years in the U.S.
Another issue that is discussed in the article relates to the factthat the age limit denies the young stars an opportunity to makethousands or millions of dollars. According to the author, NBAplayers can make up to $4.5 million per year. This means that theplayers who are forced to join college for such a period are deniedthe opportunity to earn the money and lead comfortable lives(Garofalo 1). Some of the students who join college rely on theirparents for funding or even on loans when they would have beensupporting the same parents. Furthermore, a player in the first yearof college may suffer a serious injury that would deny him apermanent lifetime opportunity to make money.
The age limit by the NBA is aimed at protecting the young playersagainst making wrong decisions relating to their finances. Evidently,high school graduates survive largely on their parents’ financialsupport. Therefore, when they get an opportunity to make hundreds ofthousands of dollars within a short while, they end up mismanagingthe money and making poor decisions. In this regard, the NBA seems tobe doing the right thing allowing the teenagers to mature up andunderstand the need to plan well for their finances. Furthermore, thecolleges benefit immensely from the talents of these young stars.Broadcasting rights for NCAA basketball is worth millions of dollars(Garofalo 1). By having future pros playing for the colleges,television stations compete for rights to broadcast the NCAAbasketball games. Therefore, whereas the NBA seeks to protect thegraduates from poor decision making, it ends up enriching collegeswhich are supposed to be providing education to the students.
While concluding, it is evident that the issue of age limit in theNBA is controversial issue that presents an ethical dilemma. Theleague commissioners are convinced that there is need to set aminimum age limit. Notably, there are advantages and disadvantages tothis issue. From whichever side one looks at the issue from, thereseems to be no right way to handle it. Having the age limit deniesthe teenagers from high school the opportunity to make money.Furthermore, it forces them to join college against their will. Theauthor has also asserted that the colleges, through the NCAAbasketball leagues, benefits immensely. Despite these shortcomings ofthe limit, the NBA believes that the high school graduates make wrongdecisions once they are exposed to money at such a young age. Theycite the need for college education as a leading factor towardshaving the age limit. Regardless of the numerous arguments that areput forth regarding this issue, it remains an ethical dilemma withinthe NBA.
Garofalo, Pat. “The NBA Age Limit Is (March) Madness.” U.S.News, 27th March, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/pat-garofalo/2015/03/27/nba-age-limit-is-march- madness.Accessed 11 December 2016.