This week, Memphis University Men’s Basketball freshman, James Wiseman, announced he was leaving the school to focus on the upcoming NBA Draft and his professional career. Wiseman is an immensely talented center in size and versatility. His best asset is his efficiency in scoring and rebounding. He is projected to be selected as a lottery pick and perhaps even number one overall. Unfortunately, Wiseman has not enjoyed the smoothest tenure in NCAA Division 1 basketball. He was ruled ineligible outside of his control, was forced to obtain a restraining order from the NCAA just in order to play and overall spent more time worrying about legal issues than basketball.
The decision to leave college is becoming more common in young players around the world. The NCAA just doesn’t cut it anymore for the players with the goods to become stars in the NBA. The international game is much more enticing for players that want to develop their game and also make some money along the way.
The NCAA and its strict rules and regulations seem to be turning players off to the college scene. Wiseman will not be the only collegiate athlete to go through a situation like this. Each season throughout all NCAA sports there are stories of players being suspended or ruled ineligible due to mountains of reasons. Chase Young of Ohio State football was forced to sit-out two games during this season for violating the NCAA’s policy of not accepting loans — even from family or friends. Young did so in order to make it possible for his girlfriend to attend the 2019 Rose Bowl game.
At the end of the day, the future pros know the college game is not really imperative to their potential success. Of course, college life and the benefits that come with it can be significant, but do the pros outweigh the cons?