Monday, July 27, 2009

Under 23 Rule Continued

Thank you Luc Longley for choosing college over the NBL - Michael Jordan.
Yesterday I started to blog about the under 23 rule the NBL has ran with over the past few years.
Today I will continue to elaborate and expand one why I think this rule needs to be scrapped.

Still using some of the material from Boti Nagy's article, lets take a look at this quote from someone from within the hallways of the NBL office.

"The whole rationale behind reserving one place for a young Australian player within each team's 10 contracted roster positions was to offer an alternative pathway for athletes looking for elite competition to the U.S. college system."

News alert. Gone are the days that young Aussie hoopers are happy to dream of pulling on the jersey of their home team (providing they have one). There is a bigger picture that has been created by the likes of Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Andrew Bogut and Pat Mills' success at the college level.

Aussies are running to the US college system in record numbers in the hope that they can keep working on and improving their games with the hope that the moneytrain called the NBA or Europe comes calling after a period of time.

Sure, over the past few years we have seen Joe Ingles and Brad Newley forgo the college route to stay home and develop via the NBL, but they have now been lost to our game. (It would be interesting to see if either of these guys would reconsider their path taken.) Plus they are the exception to the rule.

If basketball in Australia wants to provide a pathway for juniors to the pro level in this country, they need to cultivate a better system than the current.

Basketball needs to find it's "cash cow" so each NBL franchise can implement (something similar to the NRL) an u/23's competition in conjunction with the NBL.

Although this sounds good in theory, I'd still debate whether there is enough junior depth to support such a concept but if we are to change the landscape of our sport something like this has to take place.
It would be great to see the development of the likes of Brock Motum, Cody Ellis and Jorden Page right before our eyes instead of heading across the Pacific to college. But the simple fact that our sport does not have a system in place to stop this exodus we cannot throw rules in to make it look like we are developing youth.

Go through the NBL rosters and look at the u/23 player at each team. Please let me know who you think will have a productive 10 year career in the NBL. My pencil is still very sharp.

Tell me what last year's Young Australian Players Steven Broom and Zac carter are doing now?

The best option for kids right now is to head to college in the USA and continue to develop their game, while getting an education as well.
There is no doubting that I'm in favour of the college experience. I'm a great example of this path as there is no way I would have achieved what I did in the game without spreading my wings and heading to the northern hemisphere for college.

I hope the NBL has an overhaul of the age rule rather soon so we stop penalizing kids that are simply taking the best career path on offer right now.


- Joe Ingles is close to signing in Europe with CB Granada. (you will google translator)

- Townsville Crocodiles sign Mackay junior Todd Blanchfield.


Isaac said...

I think salaries come into play also. A good number of the recent SA players that have skipped college (Newley, Ingles, Forman, Holmes) have been able to seriously consider the NBL on near-even footing with the college path because their offers at the time were comparably strong; Forman was offered a 2+2 as his first deal, and Holmes had a three year deal.

Today, I don't know that teams would be offering anywhere near as much unless players were very likely to make it.

Given that and existing development player positions, this U23 rule is probably a little less necessary.

Anonymous said...

JR is mad at the league cause hes not in it anymore LOLOLOLOL.

Anonymous said...

How can you compare college path to NBL path and talk salaries?
One is pro and one is amateur.

But don't forget that young Aussies have to get a decent SAT score to look at a scholarship at a decent level for BB in the States.
A couple of those guys you mentioned would struggle very hard with that exam.

I do remember that when Black and Harvey rejected college they already had top marks in their final school year in Australia. Both had excellent SAT scores also.
Wonder if they regret it?

Parents were encouraging their kids to finish school at lower colleges in the States as they had neglected studying big time in Australia due to sports' commitments. They needed something academically to fall back on after BB. As weak as some of the degrees are, they are recognised here after 1 more year of study.

The attraction is not going to wane.
It's very tempting.
It's a great experience.
What harm can it do? You can come back to the NBL but not the reverse.

Isaac said...

The reason I mentioned money is that, at the time, an example of a college player returning to the NBL was Axel Dench. Let's say he wasn't going to make the NBA, so effectively had four years in a college program before returning to $100-120k (guessing).

Then look at what those other four players would achieve in roughly the same space of time - a contract stepping up each year to more or less the same end-point. At the time of their signings, the 36ers' contracts with Holmes and Forman included covering their study+books+laptop, car, etc.

Think of it as choosing between post-graduate study (and coming out hoping for a better salary afterwards) and going straight into the workforce (and working your way up the chain) - there's not really a right or wrong path and the choice will depend on the individual.

Anonymous said...

If this Under23 rule was serious, why is there NO LIST of under23 eligible players on the BA site? Why is their no identification program for this rule? Why is there no national education program provided by BA to assist these players?

The rule is just a reason for BA to say they are helping development of this sport. They're not, they're holding the ELITE NATIONAL COMPETITION back. If this was our ELITE NATIONAL COMPETITION, wouldn't you want the BEST OF THE BEST contracted?

isntead of the rule they got, why dont BA encourage ALL NBL TEAMS to unify their development programs and strucutre so that there is a NATIONAL development program that ALL NBL TEAMS implement. Therefore if a kid growing up in victoria who has been identified, decides to play under say coach gleeson in townsville, least he'll know he is getting the same development and mentoring as in victoria. Lets get some continuity from bottom aged (16-18 yr old) in development, as you can pick up a diamond in the rough who can ball nbl early (newley) or develop and create a strong enough relationship send them to college adn you know if they dont make it big time,they'll be back at the club theyve developed their game at.

end point, no real thought into the under23 rule, just like every otther BA driven concept!

Michael from Perth said...


Steve Weigh was YAP for Perth last year. I contend that he could have a 10 year career.