To play or not to play, that is the question

Zion Williamson

To play or not to play, that is the question
February 28
03:00 2019

By now everyone has seen the freak injury Zion Williamson sustained in the loss to the Tar Heels last week. He has dazzled us all year with his high-flying acrobatics, but following the injury, many are questioning whether he should suit up for the Blue Devils again.

Williamson injured his right knee in the first minute of the game against UNC and did not return. His injury not only calls into question whether he should play again or not, but also if the NBA “One and Done” rule is fair for the best of the best in college basketball.

In 2005, the NBA adopted the rule of not allowing players to enter the draft until they were 19 or one year out of their graduating class. This rule was not well received by many in and out of the league. There has been talk of abolishing this rule in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Personally, I feel the rule is a good thing for not only the NBA, but also the NCAA. However, I think the only ones who are getting a raw deal in the scenario are the actual players themselves. Forcing players to go to college gives them an opportunity to play against high level competition before going pro, gives fans an opportunity to see great players in their uniforms for at least one season, and gives NBA scouts a better look at the prospects. But once again, the players are left hanging out to dry, for the most part.

Yes, I understand they get a full scholarship with room and board and full tuition, but they are the ones who are making the schools and NCAA rich with their blood, sweat and tears. The injury to Williamson just reemphasizes the need to pay the players in some way, shape or form. 

The powers that be in the NCAA are very smart individuals, so I am sure they would be able to find a suitable way to compensate the players. When Williamson went down, all I could see was the possibility of his career ending on the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

I am not saying that it’s all about the money, but why is it okay for the NCAA and colleges to make millions and the players can’t focus their attention on some of that as well? Seems like a double standard to me.

NBA players are weighing in on the topic as well. All-Star forward DeMarcus Cousins touched on the topic before Golden State’s game against the Sacramento Kings last week. Cousins said, “College basketball and the NCAA is bull—-.  So, my advice to him is: Do what’s best for you and your family.”

He continued by saying, “Obviously college … it does nothing for [Williamson] at this point. You’ve proven you’re the No. 1 pick coming out, you’ve proven your talent. Get ready for the next level, because it’s happening. That’s my opinion, knowing what I know now. Obviously, when I was at that age, you enjoy the moment, you’re enjoying the experience and all that. But there’s so many risks involved to get to the ultimate goal, which is this level. So just do what’s best for him and his family.”

I agree with Cousins in his analysis of the NCAA, but I don’t feel as though Zion should totally give up on his team for the rest of the year if he can still play. I really just want the NCAA to compensate the athletes that are making them money hand over fist.  I just urge Zion to do what’s best for him, not the university or NCAA.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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