The ‘one and done’ rule causes college basketball to suffer

Published 8:30 pm Friday, March 28, 2014

This year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is one for the ages. For the most part, upsets have been the rule rather than the exception.
For example, The Mercer Bears upset Duke and then lost to Tennessee.
One of the classics so far has been the Kentucky Wildcats two-point victory over the previously undefeated Wichita State Shockers. The Wildcats’ victory set up an all Kentucky matchup in the Sweet 16 round between the Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals. It should be a very close one.
College basketball has really changed since the National Basketball Association put in what is commonly known as the “one and done” rule.
The rule, simply stated, is that a player must play one year of college basketball before a professional team can draft him.
I can see both sides of the issue. While outstanding players can benefit by one year of college, others are talented enough to play professionally as soon as they graduate from high school.
Two cases in point are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James of the Miami Heat. They are two of the greatest NBA players ever and both were drafted following their senior year of high school before the “one and done” rule came in.
Don’t get me wrong, a college education is great and all those who aspire to get one should have the opportunity.
On the other hand, players like Bryant and James, who are good enough to play professionally following their high school graduation and sign multi-million dollar contracts, should have the opportunity to do so.
College basketball coaches are not going to say anything about the “one and done” rule because of their great relationship with professional basketball coaches. Because of the rule, elite college basketball programs like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas have fewer juniors and seniors contributing to their success.
Currently, baseball is the only professional sport that has a true minor league system other than the colleges. You can be drafted out of high school by a professional baseball team and sent to one of their minor league affiliates, but if you sign a college baseball scholarship, a professional team cannot draft you until after your junior year.
The only feeder system for professional basketball and football organizations is the colleges.
If basketball’s “one and done” rule ever goes away, only the true potential super stars like Bryant and James would probably be drafted out of high school anyway and I would really not have a problem with that. Would you?

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