NCAA’s Emmert: ‘Don’t blow one-and-done out of proportion’
NEW ORLEANS – Who’ll go – Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – and when? The issue of Kentucky’s prospective one-and-done players hangs over college basketball’s Final Four.
Inordinately so, NCAA President Mark Emmert says.
“I don’t think we should blow the one-and-done out of proportion and suggest that’s somehow undermining all of academics and the NCAA,” he said Thursday. “It’s 15 kids. They have a chance to go play professionally because that’s what the rules allow and they all want to pursue it. So that’s fine.”
It was a variation of the NCAA refrain that most athletes go pro in something other than sports.
Emmert reiterated that the rule requiring players to be at least 19 and a year out of high school to enter the NBA – leaving a handful of future pros little choice but to spend a year on campus – is not the NCAA’s doing but rather a product of the NBA and its players’ union. Forty freshmen have entered the league’s draft since it went into effect in 2005-06.
Earlier this week, however, NBA commissioner David Stern suggested that the colleges and the NCAA could do something about the short-term players if they wanted, requiring them to agree to remain in school and forfeit scholarship money if they don’t.
Emmert politely rejected the notion. “There are doubtlessly many things that can be done to encourage our student-athletes to stay in school that are inside our purview, and we’ll continue to pursue those,” he said. “… On the other hand, there are things that are possible and impossible for us to do. We don’t have a vehicle for mandating that anyone stay in school.”