Clearly commissioners, leagues and their teams want these rules, for reasons that can be debated. I have argued for more than 10 years that 18-year-old players should have the choice to turn pro and take the benefits and risks that go along with it. I also have conducted my own empirical research -- both for on-court performance and for off-court issues, such as arrest propensity as correlated to number of years spent in college -- and read the research of others on the NBA's age restriction. The data is clear: the rule and the numbers behind it tell contradictory stories.
But that's not new, nor is it necessarily relevant to a legal discussion, at least not yet. And instead of looking at age limits from a view directed at David Stern or Roger Goodell or various league officials and lawyers, I'd rather look at the players associations that have approved these rules as part of collective bargaining agreements. How often are Billy Hunter, the NBA players' executive director, or De Smith, the NFLPA's executive director, criticized for age restrictions? Not often, if ever. But maybe they should.
Hope you have a chance to check out what I said.