Tennis players, track athletes, golfers, hockey players and baseball players all can turn pro right out of high school. Basketball players have to wait until they turn 19, and the NFL requires a three-year waiting period.
The NBA, though, has submitted a proposal to its players union to lower the draft age from 19 to 18, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. It is the first step in formal negotiations to allow NBA teams again to draft players out of high school by the 2022 draft.
Among the major sports, that would leave only the NFL with a rule preventing high school players from turning pro. Major League Baseball and the NHL both allow athletes to bypass college.
The upstart XFL, though, could change the landscape when it begins play in 2020. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck has said on multiple occasions he won’t rule out allowing players to join his league before they have spent three years in college.
That could allow a player like Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence an option to get paid before the NFL would allow him to get paid. Lawrence can’t play in the NFL until at least 2021.