With Thursday’s NBA Draft, the league’s "One Year Rule" will be on display. It’s the subject for tonight’s “On the Mark”.
Were American players not required to be one year removed from high school or at least 19 years old to be eligible for the draft, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden would never have played at Texas and Ohio State.
Reportedly, both Durant and Oden were model students.
But, I can’t think that everyone in their situation would be.
College players who intend on making themselves eligible for the draft just aren’t likely to make themselves eligible for continued school work. And that is an issue. Academic integrity vs.
everyone’s right to make a living.
The "one year rule" will be a major player at Kansas State next year as Michael Beasley could develop as the first or second choice of the 2008 draft. If the Wildcats have a break through season, and Beasley does not return; we will still wonder if having a "one year wonder" was worth it. And, answering that question won't be easy.
Coaches of both the Longhorns and Buckeyes have not complained. Their high profile freshman brought their programs national exposure.
But… it’s the NBA who will benefit most.
Durant and Oden’s college season provided the pro league with exposure that they desperately need.
As for the possible negative impact on the college game? Let’s just say that the NBA will always take care of the NBA --- first. that’s “On the Mark”.
[What do you think(?) There are a few ways to let me know. My sports commentaries air Monday nights at ten.]