Dick Vitale sees change to one and done rule as unlikely

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 12:26am

For the past nine years, the NBA’s one-and-done rule has dramatically affected college basketball.

Dick Vitale doesn’t see that changing any time soon.

Before speaking downtown at the Renaissance Hotel on Thursday night at a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, the ESPN analyst and college basketball enthusiast said the rule should change.

But he’s not holding his breath.

“The NBA players’ union is the one that holds them back,” the 71-year-old Vitale said. “I think if we had harmony like there is in baseball where you have a scenario where they all unite — the NCAA, Major League Baseball and it works beautifully. If a kid wants to go on from high school to the pros he goes. But once you step on that college campus you have to stay here for three years. It would bring stability and it’d be phenomenal for the game. I’d love to see that but I don’t think we will.”

In a way, the rule hampers schools like Vanderbilt, which Vitale pointed out holds high academic standards.

The Commodores lost the top six scorers off last year’s team and 88.1 percent of the scoring. With no seniors and the entire starting five gone, they’ll need to find new pieces. But the recruiting trail has not been kind.

Vanderbilt lost out on Clarksville Northeast’s Alex Poythress, who signed with Kentucky, and has just two commits for the 2012 signing class with four scholarships available.

“They’re finishing No. 2 in recruiting,” Vitale said. “As [coach] Kevin Stallings will tell you, No. 2 doesn’t make it in the world of recruiting. There is still time to go. The one thing is he does a phenomenal job with discipline and getting the most out of his people.”

In the meantime, though, powerhouses such as Kentucky and North Carolina take advantage.

To Vitale, why wouldn’t they?

“John Calipari’s not a big fan of the one and done but obviously Kentucky played by the rules. The rules say that exists,” he said. “I get a big kick out of some schools and people saying, ‘Oh, they take these kids.’ Well who in the world wouldn’t take Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Everyone would.”

Vitale also touched on various other topics.

• On Cuonzo Martin narrowly missing 20 wins and taking Tennessee to the NIT in his first year:

“I’m not surprised at all. I knew him when he was a player at Purdue. He was a winner then. He was a terrific defensive player. He made my all-Rambo team at that time. He’s also a cancer survivor. This is a courageous young guy. He stepped into a tough situation in Tennessee. He did a phenomenal job. At the end of the year you see the development of the players getting better and better. I think the future is very bright for Tennessee with the leadership of Cuonzo Martin.”

• On Vanderbilt’s 2011-12 season:

“The thing about it, this team here started real slowly but they did win the SEC [tournament] championship. That is quite an honor to say you were the SEC champs, especially the year when Kentucky cut the nets down and won a national title.”

• On his pick for which local mid-major can be next year’s Cinderella:

“Certainly Middle Tennessee State had a great year. I saw where it rewarded [coach] Kermit Davis with a new [five-year] contract. They’ve got some key players returning. They can be a very, very dangerous team. I think a lot of the big guys have found that out. Ask UCLA about Middle Tennessee State.”

• On his passions:

“Probably the dearest thing in my life today, other than my family, is I’m obsessed with raising money —my friends know I’m obsessed — to help kids battling cancer. That is the goal I have. Every year we have a major event but it is an all-year deal trying to raise the dollars to get the million… To see what the families are going through it just breaks your heart. You ask what I do? It is all year trying to raise the dollars.”

• On his never-ending motor:

“I watched my dad. When he retired from work — he was a factory worker — and all he did when he retired was sit in a chair like this, turn on the TV and that was his life. And that’s how he died. He couldn’t walk anymore. So I vowed when I stepped down or I slow down, keep active. This morning I played tennis. I walk a minimum every day — minimum — of an hour. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a drink. That doesn’t make me right. ... I never enjoyed it. So I go to clubs with buddies and I’m drinking cranberry juice. People think I’m drinking wine.”

7 Comments on this post:

By: spooky24 on 4/27/12 at 5:17

Very few High school baseball players choose to go pro because the 3 or 4 years in the minor leagues, while being paid, is simply not the college experience.
The fact is that the NBA and college basketball are simply 2 different sports. The NBA is a defensive league in which the focus is on stopping the other team from scoring. NCAA basketball is all about scoring more than your opponent. Also, being a good college player by no means makes you a good NBA prospect..
I can agree with DV's 3 year rule for lack of anything better.


By: Rasputin72 on 4/27/12 at 6:26

I see no reason to change the one and done rule. Kids have been flunking out of college after one year or one semester since college education became vogue. Why not let these kids play basketball while they are still elgible and before they flunk out.

By: wiseguy1 on 4/27/12 at 7:40

Rasputin72 needs to write a 500 word essay on "student athlete".

I don't agree with one and done in college athletics without a penalty. College athletics is all about an opportunity for a student to get an education, or in some cases get an education at a discount. In theory one and done rule should be effectively tempered/countered by the academic progress rule. APR would be more effective if applied to individual sport rosters. High profile basketball schools, such as Kentucky, Syracuse, UConn, etc, that have experienced players leaving as freshmen or sophmores to go to NBA in the last 2 or 3 years should adversely affect graduation rate to a point of penalty. Penalty can be reduced scholaships to ultimately banned from post season play if the APR score falls below 930. We are lead to belive 930 equates to a 50% graduation rate. No post season play = little incintive for a kid to play one year and bolt for NBA.

Interesting article. I found informative. http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/6853878/ncaa-committee-approves-increase-apr-cutline

By: Rasputin72 on 4/27/12 at 9:36

wiseguy1.............I could write a 1000 word essay on "student athlete". Not one word would lead to a discussion of the one and done basketball player. The one and done player is no more a student than Attila the Hun won the Nobel Prize for Humanity.

What they do is mimic the first year flunk out and drop out. This only emulates what has been going on for as long as I can remember.

The coaches that practice this policy are usually in charge of state run education schools where the public feels part of the success. In a true school of education such as Princeton,Northwestern,Vanderbilt,Rice,Air Force,Wake Forest,Duke,Army,Navy,Harvard,Cornell,Yale and others this practice does not come into focus. The reason is that the schools mentioned are educational instituitions whereas the SEC schools for example only are places where the middle class can paste a bumper sticker naming "their" school as an object of pride.

By: wiseguy1 on 4/27/12 at 1:48

RP72 .. your second post appears to be contrary to first post about no reason to change the one & done rule. I could use some insight to how you see is okay, but the one & done athletes are not student athletes.

RE: flunk out or drop out ... according to the APR rule if player leaves "in good standing academically" that changes the complexion of player leaving before graduation.

By: Rasputin72 on 4/28/12 at 6:05

Wiseguy1...........Yes, these boys go to the NBA while they are still in good standing because they have not flunked out as of the date of their withdrawal. I see nothing wrong with that.

Don't you have any idea where these excellent NBA players come from? Do you think MBA & University School and Franklin Road Academy produce NBA players?

Leave these one and done players to their own ambition. If it were not for the NBA and quite possibly the one and done rule they quite possibly would be raking your leaves this fall.

No, I take that back. I don't think work of any kind is that prevalent among would be NBA players. A hispanic would probably be raking your leaves.

By: wiseguy1 on 4/28/12 at 12:33

RP72, completely understand where these guys come from. The major tenets of AAA to change behavior is to change toys, change playground and change friends. Making ti easy to go from streets to NBA does nothing to break the cycle they were raised in. Possibly ... no guarantee ... that college education wil give them the opportunity to break the cycle.

Since staying in college to get a degree is not a requirement the cycle continues, but with large amount of money to to blow in the process. Granted the diploma is no silk purse, rather an opportunity. Everyone of those kids understands opportunity.