One-and-Done: an analysis

Posted: December 18, 2009 in college basketball, rules, sports opinion

[Disclaimer: This is a Stank N Werds joint.  Enjoy.]

The extraordinary play of the sensational freshman John Wall brings one-and-doners back into the spotlight.  So let’s examine it from a few vantage points.

NCAA:  This is cheapening their product.  These indentured servants student-athletes leaving after only a single season is making a mockery of an athletic scholarship.  It is also depriving them of any type of educational base if their professional aspirations do not pan out.  It is also eroding that bond that fans and boosters have by getting to know a player for a few years.

[Stank-0’s note:  Look the NCAA is using these players’ numbers and sometimes names to make money and lots of it.  So what if they can only exploit said player for one year versus 2,3, or 4 years.  Without these players, no one would be watching the NCAA tournament every March. The NCAA is forgetting that if someone else came along and did what the NCAA is doing then the NCAA would be useless.  They aren’t exactly irreplaceable.  The integral piece to this equation is the “student-athlete.”]

School: It can create a feedback loop.  Once a school starts taking a one-and-doner, others will come to that school.  It also helps get that schools name out there if their respective player(s) is very very good.

[Stank-0’s note:  Again boo MFing hoo!  If this kid is that good they can fill up arenas, sell jerseys, print his face of media guides and programs, put posters in Times Square, get coaches a bigger deal at a better school (Let’s keep it all the way hunnid, UK>Memphis) etc making lots of cake.  Most schools will take this arrangement because there’s money to be made.

Coach:  There is never an foundation to build upon.  They are in constant recruitment mode, always looking for a player to replace the one that left.  It’s difficult to build a successful long term program on the backs of one-and-doners.  They are starting from square one over and over again.

[Stank-0’s note:  If they don’t want the headache and stress of constantly reloading then leave the one-and-doners alone.  Again what coach wouldn’t take a chance that a freshman can lead them to a title, think Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony.  Not sure what Melo’s motivation was but after he won the title as a frosh, there wasn’t much more he needed to accomplish and he had NBA ready game.  Now every coach is trying to find that Melo to lead them to the title.  One other frosh got close.]

Player:  The player(s) with obvious NBA ready skills get to go immediately and stop wasting their time and everyone else’s pretending to get a college education.  That one year also allows them some free marketing.  In a way this is good because it allows the other players to get some shine after the one-and-doner leaves the scene.

[Stank’s note:  On the flipside, since many expect to leave soon they never really get a chance to develop or refine their skill set.  They don’t get a chance to hit the weight room enough.  Or even just be a normal stupid 18-19 year old kid.

Underbelly: This is where the AAU coaches can start to thrive and land “assistant coach” gigs because they can bring a one-and-doner to a respective school.  Or they simply take cash under the table, etc. This also has implications, ie. OJ Mayo and USC. ]

After looking a the facts, the vilification of one-and-doners isn’t that bad. If we are to use Adam Smith here, they are behaving according to the invisible hand of economics.  People do what’s in their best economic self-interest.  Now it may or may not be affecting the NBA product but that’s a blog for another time. 

Co-sign, these players are being forced to spend a year doing something so they decide to go to school.  Maybe more will go the Jennings route.  Who knows.

Are one-and-doners just a reaction to the age rule?  Any other thoughts? 

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