There are countless rules in college basketball that will always have detractors, and the 1-and-done rule is one of these.
Some background on the rule — In 2005, the NBA and its players implemented an age limit requiring players entering the draft to be 19 years old or having completed their freshman year of college. As a result, players who would have jumped directly to the NBA out of high school were forced to spend a year in college before entering the draft or, in some cases, head overseas for a year or two.
Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, thinks the 1-and-done rule is a total sham as having a college basketball player on campus for less than 12 months hardly constitutes him as a “student-athlete.”
According to AZCentral.com, at the Pac-12 football media day, Scott told a group of reporters: “Anyone that’s serious about the collegiate model and the words ‘student-athlete’ can’t feel very good about what’s happening in basketball with one-and-done student athletes.”
Understandable. Not many are arguing that recent 1-and-dones like Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving, and Andrew Wiggins — who’s all but proclaimed he will be at Kansas for just one season — were at their respective colleges to receive a true education. They were there to hone their skills, gain national exposure, and elevate their draft stock for the NBA. That’s not a mystery.
Since the rule was adopted, 59 one-and-done players have been drafted, including eight this past year, according to Doug Haller.
What Scott fails to offer though is a solution. If not 1-and-done, then is it “2-and-through” or “3-and-free”?
Scott went onto say:
We’ve managed with the NFL and football to have a reasonable policy that allows kids to go pro at the appropriate time. We’ve managed to do it in baseball. Basketball’s the only sport where we haven’t managed to come up with a responsible policy and the blame is with the NBA, the NBA Players Association and the NCAA, so now’s the time to take ownership of it. We’ve got time. We’ve made major changes in football. Now there’s time to make major changes in basketball.
Comparing football to basketball is apples to oranges. There are an extremely low percentage of 18 and 19 year olds out there that have the body and sheer strength to jump right to the NFL. Even the majority of college football players realize, from purely a physical level, they aren’t ready to compete in the NFL. Conversely, the NBA doesn’t have the kind of physical play that football has.
1-and-done is not a perfect model, but what is the alternative?
The NCAA and landscape of college athletics — specifically basketball — is changing right before our eyes. With these changes happening annually, it shouldn’t come as a surprise is rules like the 1-and-done isn’t amended.