We keep reading all of these arguments in light of the OJ Mayo controversy about how the 1-and-done rule is a joke, about how it punishes the athletes, about how it makes unwitting (or is it witting?) accomplices of the schools in the whole charade, about how peace and prosperity and all things good and holy are tied into the elimination of this silly rule… and we stop and wonder. Why the uproar? Actually, what we meant to say is, why the uproar now?
If all of these pundits maligning the 1-and-done rule haven’t noticed, OJ Mayo isn’t the first kid who was being handled by an agent throughout his college career, and guess what, he won’t be the last. We already know that Rodney Guillory was handling Jeff Trepagnier and Tito Maddox in the early 2000s, well before the 1-and-done rule was implemented. We know that Reggie Bush played at USC for three collegiate years and the agents still got their hooks into him. If writers such as this guy, or this guy, or this guy, really believe that by letting the Lebrons and KGs and Odens go pro straight out of HS eliminates the problem with agents and runners contacting and influencing college players, then LOLOLOLOL on them.
Their complaints aren’t flat wrong, but they’re misattributed. Why? Because there are players right now on nearly every major D1 school across the country who have been contacted by and have talked to agents. Guaranteed. Some of them have probably taken a few gifts here and there. Does eliminating the handful of 1-and-dones from college campuses each year solve that problem? Not at all. The agents will then just focus on the next tier of college players – the Chris Douglas-Robertses, the Deron Wiliamses, the Jordan Farmars. The problem isn’t solved, it’s merely shifted.
The Commish Loves the Free Marketing the NCAA Provides
Look, here’s our point. The 1-and-done rule is stupid for certain, but it’s not stupid because of the OJ Mayo problem. It’s stupid because it places all of the risk on the players and colleges for the benefit of the NBA evaluation process. Nevertheless, it’s not going anywhere until 2011, and early indications are that Comandante Stern wants to tack another year onto the age minimum and the NBAPA is unlikely to battle that point. So then we’ll have 2-and-dones, which isn’t all that dissimilar from the NFL rule currently in existence (3 yrs). But whether there’s a 1-year rule, 2-year rule, 3-year rule or 4-year rule, the problem begins with the corrupt and criminal AAU basketball system in this country and the agents that feed off of it. These folks will not remove their grimy hands from the pockets of college basketball until there are no longer players on which they think they can ride to fortune. In other words, never. While there have been dozens of players drafted in the first round in the preps-to-pros era (the current 1-and-dones), there were far more early-entry sophomores and juniors over that same period. It won’t go away, no matter what these people are saying (well, at least one commentator gets it).