If Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self had his way, the NBA’s next collective bargaining agreement would include an alteration of the so-called “one-and-done rule.”
It’s the rule that requires players to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school before they can enter the NBA Draft. This rule has led to a batch of players, including KU’s Xavier Henry and Josh Selby, attending college one year, then bolting for the pros.
“I’d say leave (for NBA) out of high school or stay three years in college,” said Self, who would settle for a two-year minimum stay on campus for those who don’t declare for the draft following high school graduation.
“I don’t like what is in place now. It’s not because we’ve had two one-and-dones the last two years. Some people have had more. I don’t think what we have is fair to the kid. We say, ‘Come here to get a degree and help us win, and in turn, when the time is right, we’ll support any decision you make.’ That’s what we’ll say whether it’s one year or two years. The mind-set some kids have coming in is they can be a one-and-done guy. I can understand that. It’s the landscape of where we live and what we do, but it’s not the way it should be.
“It should be kids go to school first, and after they go to school and the time is right, they should be able to jump. I think making them stay a minimum of two would definitely help that cause.”
Self doesn’t begrudge those rare players with NBA-ready bodies and skills the right to make millions of dollars in lieu of college.
“I wish there was some committee saying, ‘OK, if this kid is thought to be a certain pick, then he would be allowed to go,’” Self said. “There wouldn’t be bad decisions. Then after that, I wish we had the baseball rule (players must stay three years if they don’t turn pro out of high school).
“In football, you have to stay three years no matter what, but football is also a different sport. What 18-year-old would be mature enough to play in the NFL? In basketball you could have guys that come through every now and then that could do that, a LeBron (James) or Kobe (Bryant) or whomever.
If a kid is able to go and do that and take care of himself and his family, do that. If he can’t, go to school and stay in school,” added Self, who indicated he was “proud” of those Jayhawks who left early for making sure they left KU in good academic standing.
An alteration of the one-and-done rule would also help coaches assemble their rosters.
“It (staying 2-3 years) would change the whole dynamics of recruiting,” Self said, “because you won’t be trying to sign the next guy to replace that guy (one-and-done) when you don’t even know if that guy is leaving or not. You’ll have a better feel for it.”