The NBA has often come under scrutiny, especially from college basketball fans, for their “one-and-done” policy with regard to players and their eligibility for the NBA Draft. In response to that, new commissioner Adam Silver has been vocal in supporting a two-year minimum stay in college for players and a subsequent raise in the “age limit” to 20 years old. There have been loud voices on both sides of the argument, but in a recent interview, Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self came to the defense of Silver’s stated plans.
Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World brings the specifics from Coach Self:
“I have a hard time saying if you have LeBron out there the kid couldn’t leave out of high school. I think it would be sad to have LeBron have to stay two years in college,” Self said on Philly radio. “There’s probably no way to do this, but I wish there could be a committee in place to evaluate high school kids. Of course there would be maybe one or two a year qualified to make the jump. After that, the kids need to stay in two years.
“I think that (committee decision) would be best for everybody,” he added. “It gives kids an opportunity to leave who can leave. It would eliminate bad decisions. On the flip side, kids would have the opportunity to stay in college two years and not make a mockery possibly out of the academic system, so I think it would make the best of all worlds. I think there’s a good chance it will go to two years.”
It isn’t hard to believe that a high-profile college basketball coach would favor a system that would guarantee him two years with the likes of Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, but prior to this season, Self wasn’t exactly the model for “one-and-done” coaches. That lends a bit of immediate credence to his stance, and his proposal for a committee to help out high school players is one that has some merit, even if it would be hard to implement.
This debate will continue for a long time, regardless of whether Silver is successful in raising the limit, but it is nice to see a coach with some power state his opinion on the record.