Donovan no Fan of One and Done

When the NBA Draft takes place in June the selection process will be dominated by players who spent just one year in college basketball. Several of them may have never attended school were it not for a recent NBA rule requiring players to be one year removed from high school before entering the league.

As a result, many say the rule has been a big success for the NBA. Teams now know so much more about the player they drafted than they did when they were choosing guys right out of high school. But what's been the impact on college basketball?

Certainly one plus has been the opportunity to see some of these guys playing on the collegiate level. Greg Oden and Michael Conley led Ohio State to the Final Four in their lone college season and Derrick Rose did the same for Memphis this year. But you also have the case of OJ Mayo who was getting VIP treatment when he was a ninth grader and likely would never have attended Southern Cal if not for the rule.

Florida coach Billy Donovan shared his thoughts on the impact of the rule.

"I've never been a big believer in the one-year rule," Donovan said. "I think it's been a rule that's trying to appease, maybe some of these kids going (to the NBA) out of high school and maybe not being emotionally ready to take on the responsibility of having a job. I think when you enter professional sports it's a job and you have a responsibility. A lot of times these kids are on their own for the first time and they're making a lot of money. It (the rule) doesn't make sense. I think you can look at in baseball or football where a young man is in and once he gets to school he's there for three years. That makes a lot more sense."

Donovan said while some are portraying O.J. Mayo as a bad kid who did bad things at Southern Cal, the fact of the matter is the rule is as much to blame as anyone or anything.

"O.J. Mayo and his situation is a sad story. I know O.J. because of Patrick Patterson and he playing at the same high school I saw a lot of the stuff that was going around him. To hear that he has been dealing with that and people wanting to be around him since his ninth grade year is an unfortunate thing. His intention all along was to go straight to the NBA. He had to go to college because he was forced to go to college. He probably was a guy a lot like LeBron James or Kobi Bryant or Tracy McGrady and probably would have been a very high pick coming out of high school and probably would have liked to have that opportunity. I think we all know that when you're dealing with young players it's not about whether or not they're ready it's about potential. If they're really going to talk about putting a rule in, talk about a guy staying for three years, but give the kids the opportunity if they can go out of high school to go."

Despite his reservations about the rule, Donovan sees no problem with going after the very best talent out there, like O.J. Mayo even if they are likely going to be "one and done".

"I think you always want to look at a player like that just because he's a good player and a good kid. I've always been impressed with O.J. Mayo's work ethic and the kind of kid he is. I didn't know him in depth, but he is a good kid and he works very hard at the game. But I think ever situation is a little bit different when you try to evaluate if you want to recruit someone like that. "

NBA Commissioner David Stern has made it clear he intends to talk with the Players' Association about making it a two-year stay on the college level, but many analysts believe the union would oppose it unless the league found a way to allow top high school players to bypass college all together. There may not have been a high school player good enough to turn pro this year, but reports indicate there are a few in the high school class of 2009.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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