NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 22: Markelle Fultz walks on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

On Monday’s Mike and Mike, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talked about ending the NBA’s “one-and-done” rule requiring players to be at least 19 or out of high school for a year to be eligible for the NBA Draft.

Silver expressed that the latest FBI investigation that has resulted in 10 people being arrested and the firing of Rick Pitino factored into considering ending the rule. Silver also cited a rise in one-and-done athletes as well as those players not really being worried about where they go to college as factors.

Silver elaborated on the third point saying, “What’s really interesting to me is the last two No. 1 picks in the NBA draft, Ben Simmons two years ago and Markelle Fultz last year, both played with teams that did not make the NCAA tournament [LSU and Washington, respectively],” Silver said. “And I don’t think enough people are talking about that. That seems to be a sea change.

“It’s become common knowledge that these so-called one-and-done players, maybe understandably, are almost entirely focused on where they are going to go in the draft lottery. Not to say they don’t badly care about winning but … the stakes are so high in terms of the amount of money they can make over a long NBA career.”

The one-and-done rule may have been introduced in 2006 with the best intentions but it’s clear that the rule just simply doesn’t work. The NCAA thought they needed this rule to have access to potentially big stars in the NBA before they got big while the NBA thought they needed this rule so its players got more experience and became more “NBA ready” in the transition from high school to the NBA.

Instead, it has really given the NBA no real noticeable benefit while at the same time, made college basketball more corrupt and arguably made it into a worse on-court product while at the same time, hurt the education process. For one thing, one-and-done athletes know full well they aren’t going to college to get an education. We all know the term “student-athlete” is a joke but at least they had to go to school. With one-and-done athletes, they just need to go to class for the fall semester and then don’t even need to go for the spring semester before heading it to the NBA.

At the same time, the NCAA doesn’t really benefit on the court because it leads to constant change among the stars on the top teams. Maybe the NCAA could use Ben Simmons’ pro prospects for ratings but it’s a short term benefit where they could be building up stars throughout their collegiate career.

And if the one-and-done players didn’t want to go to college in the first place, a big thing issue for them is to delay their potential high earning power for a year. And if these players aren’t necessarily concerned about which college they attend or getting a college education, there really isn’t any deterrent to making money via other secretive ways that is against NCAA rules. If they get caught, it’s the school, the team and the coach who gets in trouble, not necessarily the player themselves. Let’s just cut the charade and if they feel like they can make it in the NBA after high school, let them.

Getting rid of the one-and-done rule is not going to kill college basketball. If anything does, it’ll be massive corruption like what has been taking place. Will getting rid of the one-and-done rule stop corruption in college basketball? No, it won’t. But at least it would help lessen the motivation for someone for a college basketball player to engage in corruption.


About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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