Muller: It’s Time For One-And-Done Rule To Go Away

By Shawn Muller-

(CBS) There was a time–not too long ago–that my favorite sporting event to watch every year was the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

But after watching John Calipari and his “rent-a-team” Kentucky Wildcats cut down the nets after beating the Kansas Jayhawks for the championship in New Orleans on Monday night, I can honestly say that “March Madness” has lost most of its luster in my book.

Now, I don’t want to turn this into a pouting rant about the Wildcats and their fearless leader Mr. Calipari, and whether or not I feel something “shady” is going on down in Lexington.  If that were the case, I would go on about John Calipari having to forfeit two other Final Four appearances at two different schools (UMass and Memphis) prior to his taking the Wildcats job.

I would then mention that Kentucky was about as “down” as the all-time winningest program could be prior to Calipari’s arrival at Rupp Arena and–magically—he has managed to get the top high school talent from across the country to come play collegiate ball in the “Blue Grass State” again.

Yes, I could go on and on about my feelings as they pertain to John Calipari and whether or not I believe he is running a “squeaky clean” program, but like I said, I am not going to do that.

Why? Well, first of all, it has not been proven that he is doing anything illegal at Kentucky.  Secondly, I don’t blame him for running a “one-and-done” factory.

Calipari is winning and winning big down in Lexington, and, as it stands right now, if a “rent-a-player” system is what he has to do to win (within the rules, of course), then why wouldn’t he do it?

College basketball fans— myself included–can complain about guys like Calipari, and accuse him of wrong-doing until we are Kentucky blue in the face, but he isn’t the cause of the “rent-a-player” problem and the accusations that come with it.

The NBA is.

The worst thing David Stern could have done to the college game was banning high school players from entering the NBA draft straight out of high school.

I don’t like seeing prep players jump straight to the pro’s after high school, but I can’t really argue against it.  After all, if they have graduated, then they should be free to pursue a job, correct?

Do I think the majority of high school players should play college ball for a couple of years?  Yes I do because I think the majority of high schooler’s aren’t ready for the professional ranks.  But there are some players on the opposite end of the spectrum—guys like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James—that would have been wasting their time playing a year in college.

Obviously the Bryant, Garnett, and James examples are the exception rather than the rule, but the difference between them and NBA-ready prep players now is that those three had a choice as to whether or not they wanted to go to college as opposed to high school players today.

Last I checked, college is not mandatory, so why should it be any different for basketball players?

I would like to see the NBA follow a similar line as Major League Baseball.  In baseball, high school prospects can go straight to the draft after graduation, but, if they do decide that they would rather play college baseball first, then they have to stay in school for three years.

I’m not saying that the NBA should institute the three year rule like professional baseball, but I do think basketball players should have to stay at least two years because one year is ridiculous.  How many freshmen that know they will be entering the NBA draft after the college season is over are even attending (or have to attend) classes during the spring semester?

These players aren’t “student-athletes”.

They are mercenaries and the “one-and-done” rule is making a mockery of college sports.

shawn muller 2 9 Muller: It’s Time For One And Done Rule To Go Away

Shawn Muller

Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at Read more of his blogs here.

  • Dan Rakow

    Shawn I Agree with You I am a College Basketball Fan and was never a Fan of High School Players jumping to the NBA and College Players playing for one Season and declare for the NBA and this huge problem is destroying College Basketball and these Young Athletes are too darn greedy.

    • Jim T

      I think all of you are jealous of Cal’s success and only wish your school had him as their coach. Over and over again Kentucky is rated the #1 program of all time and we showed it again this year. Quit crying in your beer. Cal has repeatedly said he is against the one and done rule but that is the current rule he is playing under. As far as your “rent-a-team'” he has helped many young guys make millions and does not promise them a minute of playing time.

    • http:// Dawood Khan

      So, you’d pass up millions to work for free?

    • http:// Dawood Khan
  • Norm Tapper

    I agree with everything you said, but the problem is not solely on the NBA. The NCAA has rules for GPA requirements, they could make a rule where the scholarship for each year’s recruit is locked for 3 or 4 years, so if a player leaves early, the school is penalized for that time period in lack of a ship. Sure would make recruiting more strategic.

  • http:// Dawood Khan

    Why is a bad thing for the NBA to require some college for an entry level player? Nearly every other Profession requires some level/form of training/schooling/certification prior to considering applicants for hire.

    A Lawyer must have a certain level of schooling and pass a bar exam. Medical Professionals all must have some level of schooling or certification. Computer Programmers must have some level of certification.

    If the NBA wishes for it’s prospective employees to have one year or two years of college, how is that any different.

    Are Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Computer Geek Mercenaries? Are the people who exit college early to work for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc mercenaries for hire?

    If I were David Stern, I would work towards at least three years and I’d work out a deal with the NBA for the NBA Draft to be treated as an Internship.

    The NBA and NFL are Professions in the exact same way that becoming a Doctor, Lawyer, Programmer or Pharmaceutical Rep are Professions.

    Treat them in the same manner. That is the right thing to do.

    This silly use of the terms “One and Done” and Mercenary is moronic. It’s infantile. The NCAA is the problem. Not the NBA. Why treat the NBA as if it’s a drug cartel? Why treat contact with the professionals who are involved in the Sports Profession as if they are drug dealers?

    Treat it as a profession. Problem solved.

    • Tony P

      Last time I checked Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t given scholarships, were noted for their brain power as opposed to athletic ability, and took years to achieve their status as millionaires.
      Also, what they did created jobs for others.
      So please stop using this rather tattered analogy as it simply doesn’t apply.
      Face it, UK is the poster child for everything that is wrong with College basketball today. You won. That’s all you care about. So stop whining when someone critiques your program and its reflection on the game.

      • http:// Dawood Khan

        You guys seem to be the ones whining and ranting and raving and lamenting and crying.

        UK is not the poster child for everything that is wrong with anything. You folks simply love to hate on something. It’s a national past time for people like Muller, etc.

        The NBA is a Profession. The NBA creates job. These kids are studying under Calipari, Coach K, Tom Crean, Tom Izzo, Bill Self and Bob Huggins to become Professionals. Their profession of choice is Basketball.

        What is wrong with a Coach who helps these kids reach their goals.

        People like you are what is wrong with College Basketball. You’re envious that you don’t have a marketable skill that will pay you in the manner that these kids will be paid.

        The NCAA is the problem. The NBA Draft should be treated as an internship.

        A student goes to college/university to prepare for his chosen profession. That is exactly what Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Jones, Teague, Miller, Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Rivers, Durant, Irving and every other kid who goes to College on an Athletic Scholarship have done. They attended a University/College that would prepare them for their chosen profession. When they were prepared, they applied for employment via the NBA Draft.

        Personally, I think all of the gnashing of teeth is latent racism.

        Every kid who becomes an NBA player has the potential to become an employer and to create jobs. Many of these kids invest their money in businesses. Those investments create jobs. Every shirt, jersey, ball cap, TV contract, Pepsi, Coke, Popcorn, Hot Dog that is sold is symbolic of jobs having been created by the NBA. The NBA would not exist without the talent of these kids.

  • David

    Don’t blame CAl or the NCAA it seems to me the NBA players association is not protecting it’s current very well. Like the guys that never play. Many will be out of jobs after the draft.

  • Uncle Leo

    I wish they installed a two year minimum for college players prior to being NBA draft eligible. Both the college and pro game sufferes when players leave too early. The NBA was much better in the 80’s and early 90’s when players stayed at least three years in school. Also no one should compare baseball to basketball because there is a minor league system for MLB. No high school drafted player goes straight to the majors without spending at least 2-3 years in the minors.

  • Dale Sine

    Get off Coach Cal. I wish the players would stay longer too, but that is not the wishes of the NBA and the NCAA can do nothing about it. Calipari has adapted to the current rules faster than anyone else and won a National Title in the process. He also makes sure his players are attending class. One player the last 3 years quit going to class once the season was over. Brandon Knight left UK after one year with 40 college credits and a 4.0 GPA. UK had the highest academic rating in the SEC this past year (actually, they tied with Vandy). If you can get the NBA too change their rules, I am all for it. Until then, adapt. This years NCAA tournament was great! Go Cats!!

  • http:// Dawood Khan
  • http:// Dawood Khan
  • http:// Dawood Khan
  • http:// Dawood Khan
  • http:// Dawood Khan

    You guys keep blaming coaches such as Calipari for the corruption in college basketball. When will you wake up? The NCAA is the corruption. Not the players. Not the coaches. THE NCAA!

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