The NCAA basketball recruiting scandal has sparked much debate about whether or not collegiate players should be paid and if the NCAA/NBA one-and-done rule is part of the problem. The rule requires prospective players to either reach the age of 19 years old or play at least one year at the collegiate level before they can declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft. The problem is, once a player declares, he is no longer classified as an amateur and is thus disqualified for collegiate play.
Well, Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy is calling BS on the NBA/NCAA one-and-done rule. He said, according to the Bleacher Report, that the rule has racist implications. It forces young men to play for the benefit of a college athletic program’s bottom line. Van Gundy said, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, that this is a practice that isn’t seen in other sports.
“People that were against [players] coming out [of high school] made a lot of excuses, but I think a lot of it was racist,” Van Gundy said. “I’ve never heard anybody go up in arms about [minor-league baseball or hockey].”
Rod Beard of the Detroit News reported that Van Gundy doesn’t understand why players have to do one year of college. He doesn’t like the process nor does he think it’s fair that players who leave can’t come back. If they are unhappy with the results of the draft, Van Gundy says that they should be able to resume playing in college.
The Pistons coach also doesn’t see a problem with players transferring to other colleges every year if they want. In Van Gundy’s opinion, the NCAA doesn’t care about the so-called student-athlete at all. They should be able to look out for themselves and their futures rather than have it controlled by the people who benefit the most.
“A coach can leave in football and skip the damn bowl game and screw the kids he just coached–that’s fine, but if a kid leaves, he’s got to sit out a year? Come on, man,” Van Gundy said. “The NCAA is one of the worst organizations – maybe the worst organization – in sports. they certainly don’t care about the athletes.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said during All-Star Weekend that the league isn’t in a hurry to change the rule so that players can graduate high school and go straight to the pros. But there are a significant number of young players who could have easily made the transition. Golden State’s Kevin Durant is one of them.
CBS Sports reported that Durant would have come out of high school and declared himself eligible for the draft. He needed the money. Durant also pointed out that the NCAA Final Four is one of the “biggest sporting events in the world” and the athletes play for free. The universities, however, make millions.
“You should let these kids make a decision, however they want to,” Durant said. “If they want to come out of high school, it should be on them. You know what I mean? You can’t control everything. So if they feel as though they’re ready, that’s on them. They want to make a decision on their life, that’s on them. If they don’t get drafted, it’s on them. You can try to control it, but you’re still not really doing anything.”