This paper analyzes the development of the NBA’s age restriction rules and places those developments alongside the newfound trend of America’s top players opting out of playing in the NCAA, and instead seeking out other avenues when it comes to their one-year “development.” The paper begins by giving a brief antitrust analysis as those laws relate to age eligibility rules in the NBA. Next, this paper reviews the evolution of professional sports age eligibility requirements as they relate to their respective drafts. In doing so, the paper will discuss the current format of the NBA’s Draft, its rookie wage scale, and the G League by assessing the proliferation of talent to different leagues outside the NCAA. Additionally, this portion will analyze the new NIL legislation and discuss how that impacts the NCAA, and, by proxy, the NBA G League. Finally, I will compare the eligibility rules and minor league structures in the MLB, NHL, and Europe. The purpose of this is to show that the NBA should actually abandon their current age restrictions and rookie wage structures and use the newly modeled G League to mimic the structure set forth in the NHL. I argue that this will ultimately provide a mechanism to better develop players, and allow them to more equitably profit off their name, image, and likeness.
NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness Rules in the Wake of the NBA’s G League: What it Means for Antitrust Protection,
DePaul J. Sports L. & Contemp. Probs.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/jslcp/vol17/iss1/5