Talks about moving on from the NBA’s “one-and-done” rule have heated up, and Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin has some strong opinions about the current set-up.
Replacements for the one-and-done, which requires players to be a year out of school before entering the NBA Draft, are currently being debated across sports media, and possibly within the NBA.
Two of the most popular options: heading back to the old system, which allowed any player to enter the draft at any point after high school, or an adoption of a baseball-style system.
In baseball, players are allowed to make the jump out of high school, they can attend junior college for any amount of time, or they can head to a four-year school, but must stay at least three seasons.
CBS Sports‘ Matt Norlander spoke to a number of top college basketball coaches, including John Calipari and Tom Izzo, and almost all support some version of a baseball-style rule.
The one who might have the most forceful take on the entire situation is Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin. He says that, based on the demographics of the two sports, the current system may be somewhat racist.
“It hints at racism,” Cronin wrote in a text to CBS Sports. “Basketball players are black. Baseball predominantly white. Just how I see it. Why can one group be trusted to make decisions and the other is being regulated? No matter what the rules, people will make mistakes. That has been proven for both sports.”
The full piece is definitely worth a read, and Norlander raises some pretty good points about the potential of the baseball system. While it is a popular alternative to “one-and-done” in theory, one can still argue that it is unfair to keep players who blow up as freshmen in college from being paid.
In those cases, it may not even be effective at keeping top talents in college. We’ve already seen high school stars like Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay pass on college to spend one year abroad before entering the draft. A baseball-style rule could lead to stars jumping to leagues abroad after their freshman seasons, if they are kept out of the NBA Draft.