Choice Versus Obligation

By Chris Lauderback on April 6, 2010 at 7:00 am
NABC Guardians of the Game Awarding of Naismith Trophy Presented by AT&T

In the end, does ET really have a choice?

With the recent quotes from Evan Turner revealing plans to discuss his big decision with family members last weekend and the April 12th deadline to withdraw from school without hurting OSU's APR looming, we should hear something by then on his intentions.

Against the backdrop of a fan base trotting out individual reasons for why the Villain should stay or go, Luke presented the facts related to that decision. Today, I want to explore an equally compelling question: At what point is turning pro in this case a choice versus an obligation?

Obviously, this question can't be studied in a vacuum as there are various factors that influence each player's decision such as family economic status, previous injury, potential for new injury, chances for a championship run, the possibility of improving one's draft stock and the like but I'm not sure some of those factors should really have much of an impact on what seems like an easy decision to make in ET's scenario. Sure, I realize how easy it is for me to say that since I'm not Evan Turner but that's because of where I stand on Choice versus Obligation.

I hear loud and clear that Turner loves college life and I can certainly understand why he does but I struggle to understand how that can possibly outweigh the reality that he can set up his family for life by simply stating, "I'm turning pro." So, I guess the question is, do you feel this should really be a choice for Turner to make, or is it an obligation to his family? Keep in mind, we're not talking about mid-first round money here. Further, if you put yourself in his shoes, what would you do?

From what I know, the Turner family isn't poor but they aren't neighbors with Bill Gates either. You can say money isn't everything all you want but if there's a guarantee that you can take care of your family - forever - by forgoing your senior season, isn't that an obligation? Should the fact you are in your early 20's have anything to do with that reality?

I grew up having everything I needed to survive via a middle class upbringing and though I could have easily survived with less, if presented the opportunity at a young age to set my family up for life or live one more year of college to pursue a national championship, I think it would've been a difficult but obvious decision. For a kid as humble and grounded as Turner seems to be, I can't see how he could choose any other alternative, regardless of any family comments about doing whatever he feels in his heart, than to turn pro and become the ultimate provider for his family. I won't argue it's not his job, but how can he pass that up? It would seem almost selfish to do otherwise, wouldn't it?

Maybe it's because though I personally have the financial ability to live as I want (within reason), I still see a high volume of dedicated, hard working people on a daily basis that can't say the same thing. And I want for them. I want them to hit the lottery, or have a kid with a talent worth millions, so they don't ever have to want for money again. Maybe it's with this background in mind that as I ponder Turner's current dilemma, I can't help but come back to choice versus obligation.

In essence, I guess today's post is really about self-introspection and the want for you readers to do the same thing while offering up an opinion on whether or not you feel Turner truly has a choice. What say you?