The “One and Done” debate in college basketball: Is it fair to universities? Is it fair to force athletes into one year of school? Does the NBA have too much power? What’s the best solution?
I was reading a post found on SI.com and got me thinking about it again. I thought I’d bring it up to everyone at BOTC.
We’ve all heard opinions from anybody who’s nobody on this:
- Eliminate the rule and let the players go pro right out of high school again.
- Up the years required removed from high school to two years.
-Up the years required removed from high school to three years.
-Use Baseball’s eligibility rules: If you don’t go pro out of high school, you must spend 3 years in college.
Out of all the proposed ideas, I tend to like the baseball eligibility rules the best. This allows athletes who have no interest in college make their first major life decision – for good or for bad. For all the Lebron’s and Kobe’s out there, there are many more of them that fail. That is their decision. This will also help restore the continuity of college basketball.
Now what happens if the NBA doesn’t want to play ball? This directly effects the universities trying to recruit and build/maintain a program. So what can the NCAA do to create their own rules? How can they separate the true student-athletes from the athletes?
I’ve got an idea.
Letters of Intent are like contracts right? They are meant to give a student-athlete an education (and a scholarship) if he/she agrees to play a particular sport for that university. Why not enforce that? Make it a legal binding contract that forces the athlete to stick with the school until a degree is earned (or uses up their eligibility). For example, if you choose to play college basketball at Kansas State, you will be required to stay 4-5 years.
If that player decides to leave early to go play professional, the NCAA or the university could impose a hefty legal fine to make up for the time and money the school put into the player. If a player bolts for first round money from the NBA, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to pay back the university. This could also work for transfers, but could get sticky. I would suppose the NCAA or the universities would have to develop some sort of exceptions for this. (It’s not perfect).
So what does that mean for those athletes who would be considered one and done?
I say let them pay their own way. If they don’t want to sign to play for 4-5 years, don’t allow them to receive scholarships. I mean we’re only really talking about an extremely small number of players here. If they don’t care about their education, why does the university have to help pay for it? I see no problem for these potential-professional players to take out a student loan and pay the whole thing back when they receive their first paycheck.
So what do you say BOTC? Is this a legit possibility or am I living in a bubble thinking the NCAA could pull something like this off? Or is this even fair to anybody?