In the spirit of the NBA draft, I will be doing a bit of venting on the subject of college basketball players declaring after just one year out of college.
Whether the NCAA would like to admit it or not, it has a major issue to address. The theme of “one-and-done” college basketball players is not something that the NCAA should be proud of and in fact, should fell very uneasy about its current state.
The NCAA put the rule in place to give these young men a chance to grow and develop more before they go on to the next level. In reality, the NCAA only put this rule into place to make more money. Once Lebron James skipped college to go pro, the NCAA was hurt and saw a problem: NBA-ready high school basketball players do not want to play in college. The NCAA did not want to miss out on the flash and excitement of the nation’s best players.
So how did they fix it? By putting in effect one of the most ridiculous restrictions in NCAA history.
From the NCAA’s perspective, they get almost everything they want in the current system. The nation’s best players walk through their doors before they play at the next level and make a ton of money while they’re at it. The only way their world gets better is if they could make the players stay all four years.
But from a university’s perspective, having an Andrew Wiggins or a Jabari Parker come in and virtually take over the entire school for one year and then abandon ship is absolutely detrimental to the program. Sure that super star will sell you a few more tickets and make you a quick buck, but the longevity of the situation is nothing short of negative.
“One-and-done” players have no connection to their respective universities, campus life or fellow students. They are just there under special treatment to grab attention for their program and hopefully attract future prospects. How would you feel if you were a regular at a local zoo and one day they brought in an albino liger (not sure on the legitimacy of its existence) and then two weeks later it was gone because it wanted to go to a bigger, nicer zoo to get more attention. Talk about a major tease.
Here is the solution that has been brought up many times by people much smarter than I am and that I thoroughly agree with: allow the player to declare for the draft right out of high school and if the player decides to go to college, they must attend the school for a minimum or two or three years before they can declare for the draft.
This solution eliminates many problems associated with college basketball today. First of all, players who go to school actually want to be there as opposed to being forced to go to college. As a result, schools no longer feel the need to create fake classes such as the ones we are seeing come to surface at UNC.
The same effect held true at Kansas, Duke and Kentucky this year and in years past. Superstars came in, became the center of attention and left without a second thought. This leaves the program with questions and uncertainty about their future and leaves fans with a bad taste in their mouth, not to mention a hint of betrayal.
Just how freshman-oriented has college basketball become? Five of the first seven and each of the first four picks in this year’s NBA draft were coming out of their freshman year. Imagine if these players left an actual mark on their college and not just a dent.
If the NCAA cared more about its legacy and quality of play and less about making more money, it would put this rule into effect without a second thought to preserve the beauty of college basketball before it is tarnished by one-and-done players. College basketball is heading in the wrong direction and needs to address its problem immediately.