The Commission on College Basketball released its long-awaited report Wednesday on how to fix the sport. But the commission’s most notable recommendation doesn’t involve the NCAA at all.
The independent commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, called for the NBA to abolish its “one-and-done” rule, which forces players to play college basketball for at least one season or be at least one year removed from high school before entering the NBA Draft.
Repeal of the rule would allow players to be drafted straight out of high school, just as superstars like Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James did before the rule was implemented in 2006. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, this change could happen in as soon as two years.
Of course, the commission can’t force the NBA to enact this rule. But it did note that if the league opts to keep “one-and-done,” the commission could consider imposing sanctions at the NCAA level that would affect the NBA, such as making freshmen ineligible for the draft or locking a player’s scholarship for three or four years if that player leaves a college program after one year.
“One-and-done has to go one way or another,” Rice told The Associated Press.
Abolishing the “one-and-done” rule does appear to make sense, as the freshman season is a mere formality for many top draft prospects. Kyrie Irving, for example, played a total of 11 games for Duke as a freshman before going No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Eliminating such scenarios would allow draft-ready stars to be groomed in an NBA system rather than go through the motions at the collegiate level, and could, in turn, help make the college game a better product.
The committee’s other important recommendation also involved the NBA Draft: Players who declare themselves draft eligible but don’t get drafted should be allowed to return to school, the committee argued.