Should Basketball Officials End the One-and-Done Rule? Essay

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After losing four of his top players to the NBA draft after just one season at the college level, University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari is petitioning for the NBA to put an end to its so-called “one-and-done” rule.

In case you’re not familiar with the one-and-done rule, it’s simple: The NBA used to wait to draft players until they had graduated from college, but 5 years ago they changed this policy to allow any player over the age of 19 to enter the draft. Since then, this new policy has produced some of the game’s top players, including LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, and some argue that it has contributed to the excitement of the sport. There are many other coaches are coming out in support of Calipari, but his plea is not without controversy. Some have argued that Calipari has intentionally used the one-and-done rule to his advantage by recruiting young players with the promise that he will prepare them for the NBA draft after a single college season. But even though the rule has worked well for him and his team, Calipari finds the one-year rule to be silly, arguing that players should either “be able to go right to the league if that’s what they choose to do” or “go to college for two or three years” instead of just one.

The problem? Some argue that the one-and-done rule causes too many promising young players to enter the college level with the expectation that they will only be there a year, and that this causes players to neglect both their teams and their studies. For players like this, the academic side of the college experience is basically a joke. Calipari and others argue that if these kids are going to enroll in college, they should get the full college experience out of it. And if they’re not going to get the full college experience anyway, they should be given a chance to skip college basketball and move right to the NBA, if they have enough talent. The coaches feel that this would be good not only for the players, but also for the game and fans.

Teams would be able to have a little more consistency, which would give fans something to latch onto over multiple seasons. Under the current rule, your favorite college player one year is likely to be gone the next, and this can put a dent in your enthusiasm for a favorite team.

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