College Basketball and One and Dones

Submitted by ThaLastProphet on December 11th, 2008 at 12:48 AM

I wrote this in a thread but I doubt many people will read it unless it's in dairy form. It could use a little work (as it's pretty much a jumbled mass of thought), but what the hell, I just finished writing it and I'm too lazy to write anything more, so here it is in its entirety.

Magnus, and others, you probably won’t read this because it’s very long but I’m going to post it anyway, and might then just make it into a dairy post later, but none the less, this is a highly interesting topic for me, and I could probably write a 30 page dissertation it. So here goes….

The system was not created for the benefit of anybody. I don't know where you were when the NBA league office and NBA players union had their meeting a few ears ago, but it was at that meeting that the NBA created the one and done rule, and the primary reason it was created was to protect veteran basketball players from the ridiculous influx of HS kids into the NBA via the draft. (Look up the 2005 NBA collective bargaining agreement for more information)

This system was NOT created for the betterment of these kids, it was NOT created for the betterment of the NCAA or the schools, but rather, it was created by the NBA players union, who were looking out for themselves. The NBA is a business, and these players are businessmen. They are looking out for themselves (and rightfully so) and looking to protect their wallets and their playing time.

The number of HS kids getting drafted in the 1st round was getting to be absolutely ridiculous, and these HS players were signed to monster deals and came in, taking playing time and money away from veteran players, on the off chance that they could develop into superstars (or at the very least decent players).

The NBA draft has always been more about potential than merit (For example, teams will draft a kid out of HS who plays against HS kids night in and night out in a fairly weak HS division ignoring a college superstar because the HS player has a “higher ceiling” or more potential”). Also rookies have to be signed to a two year deal (again the money issue, no monster 5 or 6 year deals taking away $$ from vets) with a team option for a possible 3rd or 4th year.

It is well within the right of NBA franchises to do this, but it is also well within the right of NBA players to go on strike in attempt to change the system.

The idea was that a lot of the kids who are busts coming out of HS who were being drafted in the 1st round (i.e. Robert Swift, Martel Webster, Ndudi Ebi, etc.) would be immediately exposed in college, while the cream (Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Derrik Rose, O.J. Mayo, etc.) would rise to the top. So then NBA teams would have more money to spend on veteran players who were established veterans (i'm talking about the mid-level starters) and less cash would be going to these high school busts.

This whole “one year of college will make them a better player” moniker is simply false.



OK now what I mean by this is…the LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, Kevin Durant type players are NBA ready. They are ready day 1 out of HS to play in the NBA, so, a year of college will do little or NO good to prepare them to play in the NBA.

Now players like above mentioned busts (Robert Swift, Ndudi Ebi, Martel Webster) will be exposed by the college game and will NOT be made NBA ready after 1 year. All that will be revealed in 1 year of college ball is that they are NOT NBA ready, and therefore should stay another year in school, but under the current system, they won’t, they will jump at the money (and who can blame them).

For a PRIME example of this see, OSU player Kosta Kufos. Kosta Kufos, is not ready to play in the NBA. He may be in a few years, but as of right now, he is not ready to play night in, night out, 30+ minutes a game of NBA ball and wont be for several years. He is 7’0’’ tall, 265+ lbs, and moves extremely well for someone of his size, but he does not have the skill set to compete in the NBA and really could have used one or two more years to develop his game. All we found out from watching him for one year was that he was not ready, and then when he should have stayed for that crucial second year of college, BAM NBA, and anyone who is watching this kid play 20+ minutes against bottom dwellers like Sac-town and Miami, and only putting up 6 points and 3 rebounds, fouling out, knows that he absolutely unequivocally should be in college.


Dick Vitale of all people, has devised what I personally believe is the best system available. That system being:

1.There should be a panel of NBA GMs, owners, veteran NBA players in the players union, and other higher ups who are selected by the league (just the like the rules committee, etc.) who determine which High School players are NBA ready, and which ones should go to college. That way the ones who are clearly ready (i.e. the LeBron types) go into the NBA Draft, while those who are clearly not ready and are drafted based on extremely raw potential (i.e. Swift, Webster, Ebi, Kufos) go to college.

2. Players who are not selected by the committee would have to go attend college for a minimum of two years (although personally I prefer 3) as this will allow them sufficient time to develop and ready their bodies and skill to point where they are NBA ready. It also helps colleges because if forces the player to take a vested interest in the school and academics.

I believe I read somewhere that a one and done player will cost a University upwards of $100,000 (with the coaching, time spent, camps, travel, food, housing, tutors, apparel, tuition-by tuition I mean price of an athletic scholarship, etc.). That is a lot of money and most, if not all of that money is a sunk cost. The University gains little to no revenue from said player, and then passes the bill onto other students, or at the very least it takes away money from other things that would not be sunk costs for the athletic department.

I believe, on the whole, this system works because is separates the players like James, Howard, Mayo, Beasley, etc. who GMs knew were NBA ready and are wasting their time in college, from the ones, who GMs know could use a few years to develop. There will always be busts no matter what, but this way you have some of the best basketball minds determining who is fit to play, and by definition they would give exemption only to the few players in a year (and maybe none in some years) who are those OMG DWIGHT HOWARD SHIRTLESS THIS GUY IS NBA READY NOW caliber of player.

It also makes the school accountable for the kid, and makes the kid accountable for himself. I mean honestly, these kids go to class for one semester and then FLUNK OUT, that’s the way it works, in case you didn’t know or were unaware. Most players like Derrick Rose, or Greg Oden who knew they were going pro, did NOT attend class second semester and dropped out because they went pro. It forces them to have to be in school for an entire two years, focus on school, develop their game, and doesn’t make a complete mockery of what it means to be a student athlete.

(OT) Also I will say one line about the “maturity” or the “maturing in college” issue: It takes longer than one year of college to mature, and people who suggest otherwise are fooling themselves.


You want to know why it’s bad for schools. Well I’ll just quote an article about Bobby Knight’s opinion because I can’t say it any better myself…

Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight does not like the new NBA rule prohibiting high school players going directly to the NBA. Actually he despises the rule. Said Knight, it is "the worst thing that's happened to college basketball since I've been coaching," Given that Coach Knight has verbally cataloged every bad decision in college sports for 40-plus years, take note.

So why is he so bent out of shape over guys like UT frosh phenom Kevin Durant?

Knight told Associated Press, "Because now you can have a kid come to school for a year and play basketball and he doesn't even have to go to class. He certainly doesn't have to go to class the second semester. I'm not exactly positive about the first semester. But he would not have to attend a single class the second semester to play through the whole second semester of basketball. That, I think, has a tremendous effect on the integrity of college sports."


Bobby Knight hits the proverbial nail on the head. In this system these are NOT, NOT COLLEGE STUDENTS or COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYERS.


This policy has created a system in which schools spend upwards of $100,000 on an individual player who will be a part of their university for ONE SEMESTER. Then they don’t go to school for the entire second semester, flunk out and enter the NBA Draft.

You tell me how that benefits the school or any academic institution and I’ll eat my pants.

You tell me how that benefits the player involved and I’ll eat my hooded sweatshirt (complete with zipper).

I could go on and on, but for now, I’ll leave it at that.



December 11th, 2008 at 1:10 AM ^

No panel. No assessment gurus. Just plain and simple they need to change the CB agreement to a minimum 3 years of college. As far as the extremely talented kids who aren't able to make the cut from an academic standpoint they should be made to spend a year in the development league before they can enter the draft. Many of these kids can get multi-million dollar insurance policies to cover injury so thats not an issue either. Make it simple period.


December 11th, 2008 at 2:21 AM ^

That's why I'm not pushing for 3 years. Getting two would be huge, and then coupling that with this panel idea would be near impossible.

Regardless, I don't think there are many who would say, especially when provided with evidence, that this current system is ideal or even acceptable for that matter.

Sure people would hate the mandatory 2 years, but I think the panel helps to alleviate some of the difficulty of passing such a bargaining agreement because it will signal that there is the possibility, if the NBA thinks you're good enough, that you can make the jump from HS to the league.

MI Expat NY

December 11th, 2008 at 11:49 AM ^

I say, go with the baseball system. Players either enter the draft after high school or they have to stay in school for at least three years. I would also get rid of the rookie pay schedule. Should reward players that can immediately be impact players with appropriate contracts and should give greater incentive to NBA teams to make sure they're not taking an unnecessary risk. I would think that after a couple years of this system, the problem of players entering the draft who are clearly not ready would work itself out.


December 11th, 2008 at 3:57 PM ^

Actually, I think you left out the biggest reason (from the league/owners' point of view) for the one-year rule: it puts stars like Oden through the publicity machine that is college basketball, which generates lots of hype for the players before they enter the league. The league likes to have these guys make a name for themselves on the national stage before NBA Draft night, which wasn't always happening when they were going pro right out of high school.

As for Koufos, I disagree with your reasoning that he should have stayed in school. Yes, he may not be NBA-ready right now, but playing 82 games in the NBA will develop him as a player much more than playing 30-35 games against lesser competition will. The only real reason for guys like him to stay in school is if they are in danger of not getting drafted in the first round (which means a guaranteed four-year contract). If Koufos had projected to go only in the second round, then yes, he should have stayed. But he ended up getting picked in the first round, so it was the right decision.