Congressional Double Dribble

While there haven't been any solutions presented to stem the tide of rising unemployment and a weakening economy, our elected representatives have made time to advocate for the destruction of our manufacturing industry, the socialization of our healthcare, and the protection of the few under-19 hopefuls that actually have the talent to play in the NBA.

An ESPN report details this latest example of our out of touch Congress at work.

The NBA defended its minimum age requirement to Congress, but a critical lawmaker was unmoved and is asking to meet with top league officials to discuss it, according to letters obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The rule, which is part of the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players union, requires that players be at least 19 years old and a year out of high school before entering the league. Last month, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., urged the league and union to scrap the requirement in the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it unfair.

I personally have never been in favor of preventing young men from having the opportunity to fulfill their NBA dreams, and this particular rule has forced many of them to spend a year in an academic environment when they couldn't care less about academics. As a result, O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose have become textbook cases against the rule because, when faced with having to be student-athletes as opposed to just professional basketball players, they resorted to cheating.

While I do side with Congress on this particular debate, this is an issue that doesn't require their immediate attention. The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement that contains the age requirement for the League's Entry Draft doesn't expire until July 1, 2011. Negotiations between the Player's Union and the League's owners will be ongoing for the next year and a half, which gives Congress plenty of time to make a statement if they choose to.

First, it was the NCAA's Bowl Championship Series and now it's the NBA's Rookie Entry Draft. Clearly, our elected representatives are sports fans, but it would be more prudent for them to deal with the greater problems this country is faced with in the present than tackle smaller issues that won't have resolutions in the near future and only affect a very small minority, no pun intended, of the general population.

Blow the whistle.
While there haven't been any solutions presented to stem the tide of rising unemployment and a weakening economy, our elected representatives have made time to advocate for the destruction of our manufacturing industry, the socialization of our healthcare, and the protection of the few under-19 hopefuls that actually have the talent to play in the NBA.

An ESPN report details this latest example of our out of touch Congress at work.

The NBA defended its minimum age requirement to Congress, but a critical lawmaker was unmoved and is asking to meet with top league officials to discuss it, according to letters obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The rule, which is part of the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players union, requires that players be at least 19 years old and a year out of high school before entering the league. Last month, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., urged the league and union to scrap the requirement in the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it unfair.

I personally have never been in favor of preventing young men from having the opportunity to fulfill their NBA dreams, and this particular rule has forced many of them to spend a year in an academic environment when they couldn't care less about academics. As a result, O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose have become textbook cases against the rule because, when faced with having to be student-athletes as opposed to just professional basketball players, they resorted to cheating.

While I do side with Congress on this particular debate, this is an issue that doesn't require their immediate attention. The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement that contains the age requirement for the League's Entry Draft doesn't expire until July 1, 2011. Negotiations between the Player's Union and the League's owners will be ongoing for the next year and a half, which gives Congress plenty of time to make a statement if they choose to.

First, it was the NCAA's Bowl Championship Series and now it's the NBA's Rookie Entry Draft. Clearly, our elected representatives are sports fans, but it would be more prudent for them to deal with the greater problems this country is faced with in the present than tackle smaller issues that won't have resolutions in the near future and only affect a very small minority, no pun intended, of the general population.

Blow the whistle.