Congressman urges NBA to drop age minimum

WASHINGTON (AP) - A lawmaker is urging the National Basketball Association to repeal its requirement that players be at least 19 years old and a year out of high school before entering the league.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., sent identical letters to the NBA and the players union Wednesday, asking that they scrap the requirement in the next collective bargaining agreement.

The congressman called the requirement "an unfair restriction" on the ability of athletes to follow their chosen career.

But if anything, the league is leaning in the other direction. Commissioner David Stern said last month he wouldn't mind if the new agreement pushed the minimum age to 20 - but said he was happy the way the current rule was working.

The letters were first reported by Yahoo! Sports Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.