Kevin's Rant

End `one and done' charade

June 28, 2008|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG

For the first time in NBA history, three freshmen were taken with the first three picks of the draft Thursday night.

If Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo turn into All-Stars, it will be a memorable day for the league.

And it will be yet another sad day to look back on for the NCAA.

Rose, Beasley and Mayo should have been in the NBA a year ago. But the league's new age restrictions forced them to spend a year on a college campus, biding their time until they could become eligible for the draft. And even though none of these three players ever had any illusion about getting a degree, Memphis, Kansas State and Southern California couldn't resist signing them anyway. It's time to end the charade.

The NBA can do whatever it likes. It's a business. If it wants to set its minimum age requirement at 19, I can live with that. But the NCAA needs to start living up to the ideals it supposedly represents, stop taking kids who are "one and done," or abandon its moral high ground on everything.

It's a joke. It's time to adopt the structure for basketball that baseball already has. If you're drafted out of high school, you have a choice: Sign then or go to college and play for three seasons before you're eligible to be drafted again. That would put real students on campuses and let players like Rose, Beasley and Mayo get their professional careers started.

Times have changed. It's time the NCAA changed, too.

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