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Florida coach Billy Donovan does not want the age limit raised

Mar 16, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT

billy-donovan AP

Adam Silver took over as the NBA commissioner in February. Quickly after succeeding David Stern, Silver has made it clear, he is going to push to raise the age limit for the NBA from 19 to 20.

Many would like to see the one-and-done era axed, believing players would be better developed for the NBA with another season of college basketball. It would also make the college game a better product with more experienced players, which would also help with casual fans, who will have more familiarity with teams since star players would have to stick around for more than just a single season.

Though, not everyone is a fan of Silver’s attempts to change the age limit. One of those critics is Billy Donovan, head coach of the top-ranked Florida Gators. While some see benefits, he sees risks in an article published on Saturday in the Orlando Sentinel.

“College basketball coaches and programs are taking on all the risks,” Donovan told the Sentinel. “The kid doesn’t want to be in college and wants to be in the NBA, but because of the rules, he has to stay in college. Now you’re opening yourself up for potential NCAA violations. … You’ve got players like Jabari Parker or Julius Randle, and there is so much coming at these kids. If a kid takes something he’s not supposed to take or he is enticed into something, it’s the colleges that are put in harm’s way.”

It is interesting to see a prominent head coach come out and voice his opinion against the proposed change. And Donovan makes valid points. Despite publicly sharing his concerns, the decision is ultimately in the hands of Silver and the NBA collective bargaining agreement.

  1. Professor Fate - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    The NBA continues to use colleges as their pre-development league while taking on none of those risks. If a kid wants to play professionally out of high school, why can’t they get drafted and go to the D-league? If they aren’t good enough for a team to spend a draft pick on them, why can’t they have the option of then going to college or even trying out in a team’s open camp?

    How does the NBA get away with arbitrarily limiting a player’s options via age discrimination in the supposedly free-market U.S.? If they’re going to limit opportunities based on age, the NBA should institute a maximum age limit for commissioner. Young ideas are needed and old fogeys like Stern and Silver have nothing new to offer.

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