If Some is Good, More is Better: Why the Trend of One-And-Done College Athletes may be Fading
Today, Parade Magazine announced their selections for their annual High Boys Basketball All-American Team. According to Parade, Jared Sullinger, the magazine’s 2010 Player of the Year will be headed to Ohio State next, likely to shore up an offense who will miss AP College Player of the Year, Evan Turner, as he is likely to bolt Ohio State for the glory of playing in NBA.
Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Kentucky’s John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, are part of a growing class of exceptionally talented first-year players who otherwise would have made the jump after their senior years of high school to The Association (the nickname for the NBA).
The only rule that stopped them from doing just that was one enacted in 2005 by current NBA commissioner David Stern. Concerned with the number of recruiters and agents making their way into high school gymnasiums, and the notion that many of these young athletes viewed the NBA as a financial security blanket, Stern believed that something had to change. Even the past successes of current Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett and Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, who both made the leap from high school to the NBA in 1995 and 1996 respectively, could not sway Stern from establishing new NBA eligibility rules.
Basically, Stern’s new rules stated that players must be 19 years of age and one year removed from high school before they could be eligible to play with the Pros. And so began a trend of players (see Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Derrick Rose, etc…) who were labeled “One-and-Dones.”
This title was handed to players who otherwise would have made themselves eligible for the NBA draft after their graduation from high school, and instead were required to play one year of college ball.
However, this trend might reverse. One impetus is the possibility of an NBA lock out next season (translation: We can’t watch basketball on television as the players go on strike). As result, first year college players would be incentivized to stick around for another year or so, taking classes toward the completion of a degree.
Additionally, the NCAA is mulling over the idea of expanding March Madness from 64 teams to 96, that’s right, 96 teams. And while this decision certainly impacts the class time college athletes will miss while on the road to the Final Four, such a decision may persuade many first-year players who would otherwise depart for the grand life in the NBA, to play for all four eligible years.
Think about it: A 96 team tournament would make some student athletes believe that their team has a chance to compete for the NCAA championship during their four years of school. Why leave for the NBA when the probability for glory in the collegiate game is greater?
So, to those Parade All-American and other highly-touted, soon-to-be graduating high school b-ball student-athletes: Please consider your college careers beyond one season. And if you are looking for more reasons to do so, please read any of these BG articles.