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Stern: No Age Change Forthcoming

Amidst speculation that the NBA will be changing its minimum age requirement in short order, Commissioner David Stern has a message to get across on precisely this subject: It isn't.

As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Joe Juliano, Stern's personal interests and professional plans aren't in sync on this one:

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - NBA commissioner David Stern said yesterday that although he believes a 20-year-old minimum age for players would be an improvement, it is not the highest priority.

The league's minimum age is 19. Stern said he has no plans to reopen the NBA's collective bargaining agreement to make a change.

Not entirely sure where I stand on this, but for now, I simply say it sounds too bad.

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We go with uncertainty on this issue for now because while anything designed to push young athletes toward spending a bit more time in school is appealing, there are several other steps that need to be taken alongside an age change if that is to be the case.  The NCAA system will need to make changes to ensure that though in school, these players are really something of scholar-athletes.  They don't all have to be aces in the classroom, but making sure that they are there and getting as much out of it as possible is something into which educational institutions in this country (and the NCAA as governing body) need to put a lot more work.  Adding a year to the age limit isn't a cure-all solution on its own, and it needs to not be looked at as such.  Here's hoping that part of Stern's hold-up is to wait until other parts of the system begin to be reformed as well.

In the meantime, we've got a great forum thread running here at CB regarding the pros and cons to the age change as currently rumored.  Feel free to check it out and join in the discussion! 

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