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Bilas Responds

Jay Bilas, who kicked off our symposium on The State
Of The Game, was kind enough to respond to the people who responded to his
original piece, which is great. Special thanks to Jay for being a good guy and
for starting things off in such a wonderful manner.

I have enclosed my responses to the well
thought out letters you received. I hope
that my very short article for your
was taken in the right way. I am
not an advocate for players leaving school
early. To the contrary, I believe that most
players should stay in school for four years.
However, due to the large amount of money
involved, leaving early is something that
should be considered by a select few. With
careful consideration based upon accurate
information, the decision to leave or stay is
an individual one. My main point was that,
while early exits will certainly affect the
college game and require adjustments from
those who follow the game, I do not fear for
the game because of them.

Here are my responses to your very sharp

To SoCal DukeFan

I agree with you that in many cases, the
money is there if a player decides to wait.
The question is, will the player end up
making more or less in the long run because
he leaves early? That is a valid business
decision, and should be considered very
carefully. However, the discussion then is
about money, and maximizing earning
potential. With that analysis, there is no
considertion given to education or the value
of being in a college environment.

As I understand your position, the
"wrongness" of Maggette's decision stems
from the overall amount of money he will
make, and some consideration for the
improvement in his skills. From your
response, you are resigned to his leaving
early, but feel he should wait another year.
In almost every case, we are simply talking
about money.

While I admire your view that a player
should decide on an NBA future with the
idea of reaching their full potential, I do not
think that many players today look at it that
way. I am not saying they are right, or
others are wrong.

As I wrote, each individual decision is
different, and each player has different
variables to plug into the decision tree. To
me, there is no objective right or wrong on
these decisions that is applicable across
the board.