Has the ‘One and Done’ rule run its course?

Has the ‘One and Done’ rule run its course?
April 11
01:00 2019

The NBA and the NBA Players Union are continuing conversations that will eliminate the “One and Done” rule that has been in place since 2005. After initially being a proponent of the rule, I am at a place where I want the rule to be abolished or extremely modified.

In 2005, when the rule was put in place, I thought it was a great idea to have high school players play at least one year of college basketball. I felt it would enhance the college game and the players ability, while also giving NBA executives another year of game tape to view for the top prospects that would have otherwise gone straight to the NBA out of high school.

When the flood gates opened in the mid 1990s, when high school players started going to the league straight out of high school every year, I felt another year of development would have tremendously helped many of the players that went into the draft too soon. 

Of course, there were players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady and LeBron James that became legends straight out of high school, but on the other hand, you have Kwame Brown who could have benefitted from playing in college.

Another reason for my attitude change toward getting rid of the rule was because I thought the NCAA would have done the right thing and found a way to compensate the players for their play. After I found out the NCAA was classified as a non-profit and raked in over a billion dollars a few years ago, I was fed up with the excuses.

Instead of playing college basketball, other outlets for players have popped up over the past few years as well, such as playing overseas, smaller basketball leagues, and endorsement deals with shoe companies.

As far as college basketball is concerned, I am not sure the One and Done rule has really helped outside of name recognition from some of the players. As I thought about the impact those freshmen have had on their teams, I can only think of two teams that have won a national championship led by mostly freshmen. The 2012 Kentucky Wildcats and the 2015 Duke Blue Devils were the only teams that were led by freshmen and won the title.

This season, the Blue Devils were the betting favorites to win the title since they signed the top three recruits in the nation. The Blue Devils were ousted from the tournament by the Michigan State Spartans to continue the trend that on the college level, experience and team cohesiveness beat talent more often than not.

If it were up to me, I would adopt a rule like the college baseball draft which says a player can go straight to the draft right out of high school, but if they choose to go to college, they must stay for three years. 

I don’t think a college basketball player should have to stay for three years, but I think two years would benefit the player and give NBA scouts more than enough tape to evaluate the player accurately. I would also have a compensation package for the players who decided to attend college as well.

Currently, players are more suited to go straight to the NBA than ever before. Young players are now more sport specific than ever before, so I don’t think there will be as many busts as we saw in previous years. Let’s hope the NBA makes this change so the best of the best, like Zion Williamson, can display their talent at the highest level one year sooner.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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