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NBA YOUTH MOVEMENT, PART I: CAN THE TIDE BE STEMMED?
Published May 20, 1996
NBC's "NBA Showtime" and "NBA Draft Lottery" coverage addressed the issue of underclassmen and high school players entering the NBA. NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey said their effort to address the issue with the NBPA "has not been very successful." Dempsey: "The Players Association has not been interested in addressing the agent issue, as an example. So, I'm not so sure the NBA will be any more successful with the Players' Association than the NCAA has been." NBPA acting Exec Dir Alex English said he has proposed a "non-political meeting" between the NCAA, NBA and the High School Sports Assoc. English: "We are not opposed to putting together some type of restriction, if it is reasonable under the law." NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "In the past, the NCAA has not paid a lot of attention to our views on the subject" (NBC, 5/19). STERN ASSESSMENT: Prior to the draft lottery, NBA Commissioner David Stern was asked by NBC's Bob Costas whether he favors a minor league system. Stern: "No. I think the CBA does it. I just think it's great in some ways that these kids have such skills that they have the option of getting a full scholarship or making decisions about the NBA." Stern did call on the NCAA to change its rules limiting coach's contact, allowing stipends, disability insurance, and clearing up regulations. Stern: "Also, we urge the NCAA not to have a rule which encourages the kids to come out by giving them the permission to go back. They disregarded that." Stern, noting the age of players going pro in other sports: "I'm a little concerned why people aren't talking about Agassi and Sampras or Lemieux and Lindros. They're focusing so much on just NBA players." He did say "it would make sense" to have an age limit of 19 or 20, which they will discuss with the union (NBC, 5/19).