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There is an ongoing debate whether the NBA should get rid of the one and done rule, which enables a student-athlete to leave school after year one and declare for the NBA draft. Arguments and rationality extend to both sides of the issue. One possible solution to this issue is to allow student-athletes to forgo collegiate eligibility and head right into a development pool through the National Development Basketball League (NBDL). A revamped NBDL could allow for an alternative to playing college athletics and incentive players by not only paying them a salary, but also pay for four years of college or trade school.

If a prospective student-athlete is confident in their abilities, and good enough to go straight from high school to the professional ranks, the NBDL could be a viable alternative to going to college for a year or two and still graduate. The revamped NBDL could provide off the court training, career guidance, and allow for players to receive an education and training that will help them after they are done playing basketball.

The NBDL could also extend the off the court training and guidance, even if the player eventually gets drafted into the NBA. By the NBDL and the NBA working together, a true minor league farm system can be put in place to alleviate some of the problems of student-athletes fleeing college basketball the minute their basketball season is over.

Steven Olenick is a lawyer, educator, and leading authority on various sports law issues. His work has appeared on Bloomberg, Fox News, Al Jazeera English, MSNBC and has given numerous radio interviews across the nation. He has earned national recognition from such organizations such as Crain’s Business Journal, Athlete’s Quarterly, ESPN, Bloomberg, and the NYU School of Law.

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