Coming of Age: A Look at Minimum Age Requirements in Professional Sports


In recent years there has been a tendency for people throughout the sports world to talk about the possibilities of a number of young athletes becoming professional athletes right out of high school. This subject is one of great interest. This timely subject is extremely important because of the perceived influx of young teenage athletes entering the professional ranks. With the media covering the stories of such individuals as Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Freddy Adu, and the suit brought against the National Football League by Maurice Clarett, this has developed into a hot button subject with multiple points of view, all of which will be explored in my research project.

My intention in pursuing this research is to examine the pros and cons of both enacting minimum age requirements in professional sports and the social implications of following through with either option. There are a number of points of view and opinions on this subject and deservedly so, because the decisions that the professional leagues make will have far reaching implications for generations to come for the athletes themselves, their families, colleges, universities, and even the economy. When discussing a controversial subject such as this one, it is important to be aware that the debate begins much earlier than at that moment when a teenage athlete decides to make the jump from high school or even junior athletics into the professional leagues; it begins the moment a young athlete shows superior talent. This project will examine in depth the aspects of the arguments both for and against age requirements in sports.


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Thesis Completion





Cook, Kathy


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Legal Studies


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic; College athletes -- Recruiting -- United States; Professional sports -- Law and legislation -- United States







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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