Palo Alto, April 17 – Five of Stanford University’s top computer science students today announced they are leaving school early and declaring for the tech sector draft this spring, prompting more calls for rule changes that would require student-mathletes to spend at least two years in college.
Internet security sensation Anthony Davis is expected to go number one to Google. Some pre-draft projections have power programmer Michael Kidd-Gilchrist headed to Apple with the second pick. Interface design phenom Terrance Jones is believed likely to end up at Facebook. Twitter is said to be high on 140-character specialist Doron Lamb. The National Security Agency is widely rumored to covet search engine wunderkind Marquis Teague.
The student-mathletes are all expected to sign lucrative, multi-year contracts.
“It’s a travesty,” said college computing analyst Dick Vitale. “These kids made a commitment to these universities and to these fans. The integrity of the program really needs to be called into question, and I think the tech sector needs to act stop this exodus.”
Ludicrous, right? I mean, who would really care if a computer genius left college early and went pro, earning millions of dollars (ahem/Bill Gates/Steve Jobs)? Nobody. But if basketball phenoms do the exact same thing, it’s a sign of the decline of western civilization? Please.
I think it’s time we admitted that the concerns about early entry to the NBA are selfish. Fans, including me, want to see these guys in play more than one year of college ball. The NCAA and the schools want them to stay longer so they can make more money off them. We romanticize and idealize the idea of college basketball, and the news conference being held at Kentucky this evening lays bare the reality. An elite few players are ready to pursue professional careers after only one season. They won’t play four years. Won’t graduate. And that was their intent all along.
Look at it this way: Professor Calipari just, in effect, graduated six players in two years or less, all of whom will get dream jobs paying millions of dollars, forever changing their lives and the lives of their families. How is this not seen as the best college major in the history of the world?
John Calipari is more honest and less sanctimonious than just about anyone else on this issue. The rules are the rules; he wishes they would change. But it’s his job to make these guys the best players they can be, win championships and yes, make it to the NBA. Done, done and done.
None of these players come from wealthy backgrounds. All of them have devoted thousands of hours to their chosen craft. They brought joy and honor to their university, and on draft day, they are going to live out a quite wonderful version of the American dream.
Not a thing wrong with that.