But for the small percentage of pro athletes who will be chasing that pro career for the next 10-20 years of their life (like Wendell Carter probably will), that education isn't really providing much value.
Perhaps not, but thatís a choice. How many pro leagues are there?
Sure, thereís a one year impediment between Young and his dreams. What about the extremely talented legal mind, that someday might be on the Supreme Court? He or she still has to spend seven years in college / law school, plus in many cases unpaid internships, clerkships, etc. Same thing with doctors, and many other fields.
Waiting one year is hardly an imposition.
And, except for maybe 35 people per year (out of many thousands of D1 basketball players) that degree is a more sensible pursuit than the NBA.
Couple of related thoughts:
I'd think that many who have survived grad school can attest to how brutal it can be. Grad students are often incredibly over-worked, underpaid (if at all), live in poverty for 5-7 years post-bachelors, and generally get taken advantage of. Advisors and supervisors are the ultimate gatekeepers, and that's just 'the way it's always been.'
While I agree with others that the NCAA does unduly profit from some, many athletes have a much different experience. A 19-year-old may choose to sacrifice time, energy, academics, etc. to play with an appreciation for many benefits. The experience allows some to fulfill a life-long dream, develop as a young man/woman (e.g., discipline, work-ethic, confidence), continue to play the sport they love, etc. The short-term delay of some benefits does not discount the positives that also benefit even the most elite collegiate athletes, imo.