Rick Pitino says high schoolers should be able to jump to NBA

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Louisville head coach Rick Pitino appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday morning. Among the topics was the much-debated one-and-done rule.

You can hear Pitino’s thoughts beginning at the 5:30 mark in the video above. On Saturday, Pitino was asked about those comments and he reiterated his thoughts to reporters in Seattle, where the Cardinals are scheduled to play Northern Iowa on Sunday night.

“I had six young men commit to me out of high school that didn’t go to college, that went to the pros. I’m very much for that. Because they didn’t want college,” Pitino said. “They wanted to go to the NBA. And if they decide to go to the D-League, that’s fine with them.

“But the six, seven month education, online classes second semester. I don’t know what that does for a young person. Is it the next best thing for college basketball? Probably, yes. It’s better than for some people to have one-and-done. I don’t believe that. Now, I’m different than probably the coach of Kentucky, who is having so much success with that. But I just believe I would rather let them go out of high school or go to college for two or three years. Let them go right out of high school. It shouldn’t be different in other sports. If a young man wants to go to the pros and does everything — college is not for everybody. So if a kid doesn’t want to go to college, let him go into the pros. Let him go into the D-League and if someone does want to go to college let them go. We’re still going to have great basketball teams.”

It’s worth reminding that this age limit for the NBA is not an NCAA rule. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been clear that he wants to increase the age limit to 20, and moving forward it will be a major issue during negotiations between the NBA and the Players Union.

Recently, conference commissioners have flirted with the idea of bringing back freshman ineligibility to curb the one-and-done trend.