Claire McCaskill, a Democratic U.S. senator from Missouri, has been known to fire off a sports take from time to time. But rarely have those been so obtuse as the one McCaskill delivered after learning Kansas freshman Josh Jackson was declaring for the NBA draft.
First of all, if it’s the case that college is a training camp for the NBA, then I got seriously ripped off. None of my professors could even defend a high ball screen without fouling, much less be counted on to stick the corner 3.
More significantly, McCaskill sees Josh Jackson and his kind (extremely talented teenage basketball players) as the villains in an operation that is devaluing the education of non-talented teenagers, our most precious resource.
There are about 20 million students at American colleges and universities this year. By my count, 18 of those 20 million students are freshmen who have declared for the NBA draft. I just tried to calculate that percentage, and my calculator said, “9e-7.” It wouldn’t even do it. It just gave me a new math problem to do.
There are a lot of things that are devaluing the education received at our institutions of higher learning (too many non-talented students being one prominent cause), but teenage prodigies leaving them to join the real world isn’t among them.