College athletes should not leave school early just for money

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In college sports, it is not uncommon to see athletes leaving college early and putting their education on hold to compete at the professional level.

Basketball players were once able to enter the National Basketball Association draft right out of high school. NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Lebron James are good examples. The National College Athletic Association has adjusted their policy for basketball players. Now, players must complete at least one year of college before they can turn pro.

College baseball players are also able to leave college after completing one year of eligibility. I personally do not advise that, because major league baseball is more complex than college baseball. There are different levels of baseball. For example, there is minor league baseball (A, AA, and AAA) and major league baseball.

In college football, players must complete three years of eligibility before entering the National Football League’s annual draft. A long time ago, a player had to complete four years of school before entering in the professional leagues.

So, is it the smartest thing to do considering the possibility of not having a good career? Most people would say yes, but I am indifferent. I believe athletes should leave early if they are well prepared and will be guaranteed a lot of money in return. If they are not ready for the big leagues, then they could use another year of experience while getting a college degree.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a prime example of preparedness and talent. He left Louisiana State University because he was actually ready. If he had stayed, he would have lost a large sum of money. He has proven that he was ready to compete at the professional level by breaking rookie records and taking a rare trip to the National Football Pro Bowl this year.

Ohio State quarterback and national champion Cardale Jones was eligible to enter the NFL draft. Instead, he said he was not ready to go pro. In his career, Jones played a total of three games. He helped lead the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff National Championship after being the third string quarterback. The quarterbacks that were in line before him, Braxton Miller and J.T. Barret, suffered season-ending injuries. The guy is talented, but I agree with his decision.

Although many athletes leave due to the money that will be guaranteed being a professional, some players forgo their senior season in fear of getting injured. Heisman Trophy quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have decided not to return to school in fear of getting injured or hurting their draft stock.

Former University of Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley chose to return for his senior year. In his final year as a Trojan, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and it hurt his draft stock. Now, Barkley is riding the bench at third string.

If college players leave school early, their scholarship money is wasted and so is their education. I do understand the possibility of being injured and the chance of being a starter. What I do not agree with is players leaving early when they are not ready. They would benefit so much for staying in school to gain experience in their position while getting an education. In this generation money talks and I am beginning to think that is why athletes play sports, not for the love of the game.

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