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NCAA President wants the NBA to adopt baseball-like draft rules

Aug 17, 2010, 6:17 PM EDT

It’s been a couple of years since the NBA passed its “one-and-done” rule to prevent players from coming straight into the NBA from high school, and so far things have worked out pretty well. Kevin Durant, John Wall, and Derrick Rose all got to raise their national profiles significantly before becoming top-two picks, which paid dividends for both the NCAA and the NBA. Under the current system, fans get a chance to get familiar with top prospects without having to wait too long for those prospects to test their abilities against the best players in the world. 

“I much prefer the baseball model, for example, that allows a young person if they want to go play professional baseball, they can do it right out of high school, but once they start college they’ve got to play for three years or until they’re 21,” Emmert, who is leaving the University of Washington to take the helm of the NCAA, said in the interview. “I like that a good deal.
“But what you have to also recognize is that rule isn’t an NCAA rule,” Emmert said during KJR’s interview. “That’s a rule of the NBA. And it’s not the NBA itself, but the NBA Players Association. So to change that rule will require me and others working with the NBA, working with the players association.”
He added: “We’ll be having those conversations, because I think it would be good for young people and good for basketball.”

I don’t see Emmert’s proposed changes becoming a reality any time in the near future. By allowing players to go to the NBA straight out of high school, the NBA would lose its moral justifications for an age limit. And as Deadspin’s Berry Petchesky pointed out earlier today, a three-year restriction would just lead players towards junior college or international play rather than US colleges. 

Most baseball prospects have minor league deals for relative peanuts in their future. Once they graduate from high school, top NBA prospects are legal adults that multiple entities are willing to pay millions of dollars for the benefits of their services. How possible do you think it is to keep them from finding some way to get paid for three years? Would you want it to be possible to prevent them from getting paid for three years? 
This rule would lead to more players staying in school for two extra years, but at the expense of far more players going to community college, attempting to jump into pro ball unsuccessfully, getting drafted and buried on the bench because of a lack of experience, going to Europe, or generally doing anything to  get paid more than the dollar value of a scholarship in exchange for their services. I’m all for kids staying in school and a better NCAA game, but this isn’t the way to go about making those things happen. 
  1. Kirk - Aug 17, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Too bad Emmert didn’t stay @ UW; in fact I don’t know why he was picked to head the NCAA. This is the first topic I’ve heard from him and it’s a stupid idea, right off the bat !

  2. Dervin - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Actually MLB imposed that rule because of salary disputes. A High School Player who was drafted could always threaten to play for a college for a year and the drafting team would lose the rights.
    The 21 year old rule is nothing more than a negotiating ploy by the owners to keep the signing bonuses down.
    An NBA draft pick is a fixed price and really cheap. Only two years is guaranteed and for the #1 Pick it’s less than 5 Million a year.
    The one year requirement was only put in as a way to shut up the media. Much like the NBA Dress code. According to studies, High School Players were less likely to be busts and less likely to get into “trouble” than their college counterparts. (Ron Artest was in college for 3 years).

  3. Dervin - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    Actually MLB imposed that rule because of salary disputes. A High School Player who was drafted could always threaten to play for a college for a year and the drafting team would lose the rights.
    The 21 year old rule is nothing more than a negotiating ploy by the owners to keep the signing bonuses down.
    An NBA draft pick is a fixed price and really cheap. Only two years is guaranteed and for the #1 Pick it’s less than 5 Million a year.
    The one year requirement was only put in as a way to shut up the media. Much like the NBA Dress code. According to studies, High School Players were less likely to be busts and less likely to get into “trouble” than their college counterparts. (Ron Artest was in college for 3 years).

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