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“One-and-Done”, Should Be Done

“One-and-Done”, Should Be Done

I am tired of hearing about this “one-and-done” rule the NBA has as a requirement for admittance into its professional organization.  So what is “One-and-done”?  Well it was a new policy that the NBA adopted in 2005.  It can be found under Article X of the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). One of the passages reads:

A player shall be eligible for selection in the first NBA Draft with respect to which he has satisfied all applicable requirements of Section 1(b)(i) below and one of the requirements of Section 1(b)(ii) below:

(i)  The player (A) is or will be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year in which the Draft is held, and (B) … at least one (1) NBA Season has elapsed since the player’s graduation from high school.

This is pretty easy to understand.  Basically anyone who is at least one year removed from high school, and is 19 years of age before the end of the calendar year is qualified to participate in the NBA.  Some have said that the NBA and the NCAA are in cahoots with each other.  It is a way for the NCAA to get one great year from a 5 star recruit.  It could be the difference from just making the NCAA Tournament in March and winning it.  I do not believe that the college game would be hurt at all if these “one-and-done” players disappeared.  I also believe that these players hurt the game rather than help.  A program will never achieve continuity if they continually are losing quality stars year in and year out.

Take Kentucky for example.  Last year, after winning the National Championship, the entire starting five declared for the draft.  This year, with an entirely new crop of stars, they will be lucky to make March Madness.  This prediction was before star freshmen center Nerlens Noel, the projected #1 pick in the NBA draft next year, tore his ACL trying to run down and block a shot from a Florida player in transition.  Not only will Kentucky not make the tournament now, but this injury could cost Noel millions as it is undetermined how far his stock will drop due to the injury.  And that is the point.  If there was no “one-and-done” rule, Noel would have been in the NBA this year getting paid.

This policy is moronic because what they are telling kids that they cannot go out and earn a living.  I understand that for every Kevin Garnett (1995), Kobe Bryant (1996), and LeBron James (2003), who came straight out of high school, there are going to be 10 kids who will never live up to their expectations, or better yet, the expectations of the teams that are paying them 7 figures to perform.  The draw-back for these kids is there is nothing to fall back on (unless you actually save some money for college).  Once you hire an agent, you forgo your eligibility to play in the NCAA.  That means not only do you not get a scholarship, but you cannot play college ball ever!   Guess what, this is a free country and going after the “American Dream” is what it’s all about, right?  These are big enough kids, it is their decision!

Bottom line:  Get rid of this ridiculous “one-and-done” rule and let these kids determine now what is in their own best interests.  Not the NCAA or the NBA.

Joshua Kabat

Sportswriter, TACD News

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