Thursday, April 24, 2014

Abolishing the 'One and Done'?

For the 2006 NBA Draft, the NBA implemented a new rule adding an age limit to players entering:  19 years of age or one year removed from college.  The term 'one and done' was then coined for this rule as many of the top players played one year in college, only to declare for the NBA draft after the season had ended.  Since its implementation, many college student-athletes have left college for the NBA to (1) become a successful  professional athletes and (2) to earn a payday.  However, it appears that the latter may be considered the commonality.

Now that Adam Silver has become the new NBA commissioner, one of his goals is to do away with the 'one and done' rule and add one more year to it..'two and done'.  Eh, that does not sound as catchy.  This new rule would make it so that student-athletes would be required to attend college for two years minimum or be at least 20 years of age or older to enter the draft.  But, what reasons are there to raise the age limit?  Are there possible legal ramifications possibly involved?  Well, my friends, let me give you my scoop on the issue and my opinion on the possibility on changing the rule.

First, these players are sometimes too young to know how to handle themselves when millions of dollars are thrown their way.  It seems like the first things they do is buy a large house, a nice car, and go out to clubs all nights of the week.  This was an often occurrence when several player jumped to the league straight from high school (I'm talking to you, Robert Swift).  However, some of these players fail to succeed in the NBA and lose everything; no college degree, no guidance, nothing to fall back on.

First round draft picks are guarenteed a contract.  Second round draft picks are not.  If a player leaves college early thinking they are a definite first round pick, but fall to the second round, there is no guarantee the team that drafted them will sign them.  Additionally, if a player declares for the NBA draft and signs an agent, they are not allowed to return to college, especially when not drafted.  If a player is drafted, they officially lose their eligibility.

Being twenty years old sounds much more mature than being nineteen years of age.  That extra year of maturity is huge!  The step from high school basketball to the college level is major; the step from college to the NBA is more of a cross-country flight on an airplane.  Being able to learn and improve from two years in the NCAA will increase a student-athletes maturity and help them improve skill-wise.  This way there is less of a learning and skill gap for these players and they will be ready to compete at a high level once drafted, not several years down the road.

As a college basketball fan, I enjoy watching teams stick together to try and win a championship (like the Fab 5 at Michigan two decades ago).  Jabari Parker was close to returning in order to compete for a National Championship at Duke, but chose the draft instead.  College basketball is getting more and more difficult to follow, especially when an entire starting line up leaves early for the draft (Kentucky), and the starters the following year are all freshman about to do the same thing.  The NCAA may want to put a stop to this in order to get more viewership and following of teams and players.  This can be taken as collusion (with is illegal) between the NBA and NCAA.  However, I think that is highly unlikely.

As of today, nine freshman have entered the NBA draft, but many mock drafts have all of them being selected very high.  Since 2006, every top pick, except for one, was a freshman:  Greg Oden in 2007, Derrick Rose in 2008, John Wall in 2010, Kyrie Irving in 2011, Anthony Davis in 2012, and Anthony Bennett in 2013.  In 2014, the projected top picks are Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Joel Embiid...all freshman.  We will not know how long it takes for these players to produce at a high level, but who knows how much an extra year in college would have helped them.

Micah Sokolsky is a Pre-Junior Sport Management major at Drexel University with minors in Spanish and Business.  Micah hails from San Francisco, CA and was a participant on Drexel Sport Management’s College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) team last year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2013.  Micah completed his first co-op with the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball team in their Marketing and Promotions department.  A member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Micah is involved on campus as the Athletics Chairman for the Inter-Fraternity Council and as a Resident Assistant in Race Hall. Connect withMicah on LinkedIn.

No comments:

Post a Comment