While many, including myself, have been at odds with the Pac-12 over many of issues/rules, there is one thing we can all agree upon and that is ending the NBA rule that an athlete has to turn 19 years old before they can enter the NBA draft.
What that has manifested is a highly corrupt system in which NCAA schools recruit in a mercenary manner to make a mockery of the concept of the “student athlete.” A recent FBI investigation has found widespread failure to adhere to self-imposed regulation and blatant “pay for play” disguised as “perks” for high-level athletes. The core concept being that a high school senior is given inappropriate benefits under-the-table to commit 2 quarters at a college while they await the NBA draft.
The result of the current model is a system that allows the top college athlete to attend college in name only. Knowing that they don’t need to participate in academics, they spend a season training for the NBA, thus making the college a load of money, in hopes of earning a great paycheck themselves. Unscrupulous coaches resort to bidding through nefarious means to get the nations top talents while middle and lower tier college talent adhere to different rules–harsher rules that prevent them from ever getting paid for their hard labor–under the guise of “student athlete.”
The Pac-12 is promoting that the NBA move to a model that matches the NFL and MLB where an athlete can get drafted out of high school, or has to commit to 3 years at a college before getting drafted.
“We are certainly advocating for elite prospects to have a choice to go to the NBA or an enhanced G League out of college,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “So they are not forced, as they are now, by the NBA’s rules to have to come to college and play in a collegiate system for a year.”
The problem however, is that the NBA and certain colleges who make an obscene amount of money of the current model, have no incentive to move to this new paradigm. The NBA used to have rule where athletes could be drafted out of high school…several players like Kobe Bryant were capable of making that jump; however, more often than not, chance were poor that an 18 year old could make it.
“If the NBA isn’t willing to make changes like this to the eligibility rules, I think colleges will have to re-evaluate some other things,” Scott said. “We’re very much approaching it from the perspective of we think there’s a lot of focus on this right now, cries for action.”
An odd thing has happened though recently. With the rise of colleges like Gonzaga and Butler, we are seeing that “One and done” is not working with the success that it had. Look at Lorenzo Romar and the University of Washington. He has put a dozen players in the NBA, but he has not had much success in the NCAA post-season because he loses to more experienced teams.
The era of the “One and done” started in 2005, and the experiment has been a failure. The NBA has not seen a notable influx of talent from age 18 to age 19 and the college game is a mess. One hit wonders lose to more veteran teams or a super team gets assembled (see Rick Pitino or Sean Miller) and then gets wrapped up in scandal tearing down the college that entrusted their good name to these heinous coaches. It is time for it to end and hopefully the rest of the NCAA follows suit.