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Running head: 1-AND-DONE-RULE 1

1-And-Done-Rule: A Review of the Literature

John Tyler
University of Texas at El Paso


The 1-and-done-rule is a topic that has been argued and debated around the basketball
community since it was created. It is accepted by some and rejected by many depending on
how you feel about it. This literature review will inform the reader of information about the 1-
and-done-rule by answering the questions of whether or not it is effective, how players are
affected, and how the colleges and NBA are affected by the rule. It will do so by analyzing and
looking at a variety of sources that review the 1-and-done-rule.

The 1-and-done-rule was established by former commissioner of the NBA David Stern in
2005. The rule was implemented to stop high school athletes from coming to the NBA before
they attended college. This rule required all professional basketball-seeking athletes to be at
least 19 years old and one year removed from their high school graduation. (Hughes, 2013)
The 1-and-done rule is a controversial issue that plagues the NBA. Those who agree with the
rule feel as though it is effective and has helped the game out tremendously and is better for
the collegiate basketball level while those who oppose the rule feel as though it is only hurting
the game and the players who are ready to compete straight out of high school. This paper will
discuss the 1-and-done-rule by answering the questions of:
Has the 1-and-done-rule proven to be effective since it was implemented or has it
hurt the game of basketball?

How are the players affected from the 1-and-done-rule?

How are the colleges and the NBA affected by the rule?

Many people have different views on the effectiveness of the 1-and-done-rule and these
questions will answer these questions by looking at a variety of sources and provide insights
into the basketball community and this argument that doesnt ever seem to end.
The effectiveness of the 1-and-done-rule is the main reason why this issue seems to
always come up. Each year there are a couple of very talented basketball players that bring this
topic up on whether or not they are ready to compete at the NBA level, but cannot because of

the rule and are forced to serve their one year sentence in college. This is debated with the
return of each college basketball season because of the increase in young college basketball
players that have went to college for the year they are required to attend then off to the NBA.
There are two sides to this argument. Those who agree with the rule and feel it is effective, and
those it is ineffective and hurting the game of basketball.
Has the 1-and-done-rule proven to be effective since it was implemented or has it
hurt the game of basketball?
There are many arguments in circulation in opposition to the "1-and-done-rule. For those who
agree with the rule they most likely feel that one year is not enough to really get a good look at
the players and they do not develop into an NBA caliber player after just one season of college
basketball. Also they are concerned about the college basketball game losing its thrill because
the best players are heading to the NBA three years earlier. Before the rule was implemented
the number of players to go from high school to the NBA was slim to none. Young basketball
players wanted to go play in college and most would stay in college their entire four years. Kids
wanted to get their education and playing college basketball was exciting and fun because not
only did you get to play the game you love, but enjoy the college experience as well which is
considered the best four years of your life. Those who applaud the rule feel that players who
attend college for a couple years get the chance to compete against the best athletes around
their age and it will most definitely get them ready to compete against the best basketball
athletes in the world. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe states that, Its not that college
freshmen dont deserve to make a living, but the question is whether one year of college
actually helps prospects with the long-term goal of staying in the NBA for a prolonged period.

(Washburn, 2013) The successes of the basketball players who attended college, developed,
and became NBA players with successful careers is the main argument that those who agree
with the rule use. Some of the greatest basketball players of all time attended college for longer
than one year and had great careers. Even Michael Jordan who is seen as the all time greatest
basketball player to ever play attended The University of North Carolina for three years. The
success rate of those who stay in college an extra one or two years cannot be overlooked.
Players such as Stephen Curry who played three seasons at Davidson University and went to the
NBA after his junior year has become one of the premier point guards in the NBA today.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar attended The University of Los Angeles for three years as well, and
became a dominant post player during his tenure at UCLA. Some argue that staying in school
can build confidence and a want to win. Kareem Abdul Jabbar won three NCAA championships
in a row, went to the NBA, played for twenty years, and became the NBAs all time leading
scorer with over 38,000 points. (Nichols, 2014)
The failures of those athletes who went to NBA straight from high school or after one
year does nothing but strengthen the argument of those who feel the 1-and-done-rule is
effective. There have been hundreds of basketball players who have not panned out in the NBA
and had short-lived and below average NBA careers. Beckett Crownovers video entitled
College Basketballs One and Done Rule gives insight to those players who have had
unsuccessful careers such as Brandon Wright who came out of college after one season and has
played for three different teams in six seasons averaging 6.6 points per game. Also other NBA
busts include Kwame Brown who was drafted number one overall in the NBA draft and hasnt
had a steady home since he came into the league being traded all around the league. Now an

education is something that no one can take away from you. Supporters of the 1-and-done-
rule feel that going to college and getting your education is the smartest route to take and
then if you get the opportunity to go play in the NBA then you should go. Getting a degree
allows for you to have a back-up plan just in case you are not successful in the NBA you now
have something to fall back on. For those who decide to leave school early and pursue a
professional basketball career the question of What are you going to do now? comes into
play if you dont last in the league or you get hurt. Crownover argues that staying in school
longer than a year can help you out in the future and teach you about money management so
that you are secure after your playing days. Crownover uses Allen Iverson as an example of a
player who came out of college after one year and it may have cost him in the end. Although
Allen Iverson had a very successful playing career, now that his career is over he is one of
several players to declare for bankruptcy. This is sad not because he has filed for bankruptcy,
but because Allen Iverson earned $154M during his NBA career. (Crownover, 2013)
Crownover ends his argument by posing the question of Even if three years of college is
deemed to be too long for basketball players, why not at least make them stay for two? Could
this be a possibility in the future? Only time will tell.
If the idea of college is to prepare a student for a career and that career presents itself
after a year or two, why shouldnt the student take advantage? (NextGen Journal, 2012) You
have spent your entire life working to get to the NBA why should you be forced to go to college
for a year when you would rather go straight to the NBA? These are the questions that those
who oppose the 1-and-done-rule want answers too. These people feel that the 1-and-done-
rule is doing more harm than good to the game of basketball. Katie Streck believes that While

David Stern believed the one and done rule would make the basketball better, it has actually
negatively affected not only the NBA, but also the NCAA student athletes and NCAA mens
basketball. (Streck, 2010)
Streck made a very strong argument when he stated that:
College academics are not for everyone, which is why people have the
freedom to choose whether they want to go to college or enter the workforce. The
one and done rule denies that freedom for young basketball players. Playing
professional basketball is a job and a player who is capable of playing and earning a
living doing so should not be denied that right. Players who know they will be in the
league out of high school are less likely to be interested in attending college because
they do not need the education in order to make a living for themselves. (p. 55)
Those against the 1-and-done-rule would agree with this statement because they feel that
you are taking away these young mens way of taking care of themselves and their family as
well. And for those who do decide to leave college early some players such as Kyrie Irving have
pledged to continue their education after their playing days are over.
Why wait on an opportunity to live your dream? Especially for those kids that have been
struggling since they were just little boys with a ball and a dream with NBA aspirations when
the opportunity presents itself to get rid of all the problems and provide some support
financially for your family they feel they have no choice but to take it. Some would argue that
the 1-and-done-rule is putting a roadblock in the way of the basketball players taking care of
their families. Ryan Resch feels that, Those who feel they are ready on both a talent and a
maturity level should not be accosted for leaving. (Resch, 2012) Also those who oppose the 1-

and-done-rule see no point in the rule seeing as though there are other ways to get to the NBA
other than going to college for a year. High school basketball players have the option of going
to college for a year, but they may also go to the NBA Developmental League or go overseas for
a year. This brings up the question Why even go to college? Its not like they are getting paid
to go to college and play. Yeah youre getting a scholarship, but that has no value because you
are really only there because of basketball.
Streck also sees no point in the athletes going to school for one year because:
One and done athletes are not in school to be student-athletes. They know they
are there for one reason and one reason only, to serve their one year before
going to the league. According to NCAA rules, eligibility for competition shall be
determined based on satisfactory completion of six semester or six quarter
hours of academic credit during the preceding regular academic term in which
the student-athlete has been enrolled full time at any collegiate institution.
(NCAA) So this means a basketball player is eligible to play by taking six credit
hours in the fall and skip classes entirely in the spring and declare for the NBA
draft when the season ends. (p. 56)

Based on this information they feel that 1-and-done-rule is pointless. They are basically
wasting not only their time, but the professors as well. They are only taking around two or
three classes for the first semester then they are done with college. Since they are not required
to even attend class the second semester what are they really learning? Also the classes they
are most likely taking are pointless classes such as electives that are not very challenging so

they are able to focus on basketball and getting to the NBA. The other two options of getting to
the NBA are far more appealing to the average young high school kid who wants to play
basketball for a living. Getting the opportunity to go to another country where you are praised
for your basketball talent and being paid six figures on top of it sounds pretty good rather than
playing for free in college. Players such as Brandon Jennings have taken this route instead of
going to college, and in an extreme case Jeremy Tyler chose to completely forgo his senior year
of high school and head overseas after his junior year. Both spent time overseas and are now
playing in the NBA.
Players such as Lebron James and Kobe Bryant have paved the way for young boys to
think that they should be allowed to go the NBA out of high school. These two amazing
basketball players are considered two of the greatest basketball players of all time and they are
still playing. They have had amazing careers to this point and were able to contribute to their
teams at such a young age. There have been other players who have followed in their footsteps
such as Kevin Garnett and Amare Stoudemire and honestly the list goes on and on. Those who
disagree with the 1-and-done-rule feel that you should not base a kids talent based on age. If
they have the desire and ability to help a team in the NBA out of high school then they should
be able to do so. Coach John Calipari, the head of coach of the Kentucky Wildcats made the
claim that college is not required for success in his statement, I mean, Steve Jobs left, Bill
Gates left. The integrity of their schools were at stake when they left. They should have stayed
and not changed the world. (Yeatts, 2012) The last statement seems to be said in sarcasm to
make his point that people have been successful without college, and the same thing goes for
basketball. The following table is a remake of the table created by Jon Nichols that clearly

shows that high school players have been more successful in their basketball careers than those
of whom chose to go to college based on the players Player Efficiency Rating.
Seniors Juniors Sophomores Freshman High School International
Lottery 14.79 15.72 15.71 15.22 17 16.9
Rest of 1

12.34 11.54 11.22 15.73 14.2 13.96
13.09 13.98 14.35 15.35 16.35 14.76

Based on the graph and the information provided those against the 1-and-done-rule have a
very strong argument to terminate the rule completely.
How are the players affected from the 1-and-done-rule?
The basketball players are affected greatly from the 1`-and-done-rule. Being forced to
go to college is something that the players do not enjoy. And as stated earlier in the essay it is

somewhat pointless for them to go because they are not required to even go to class for the
spring semester. And by going to college you put yourself and the livelihood of your familys
financial security in jeopardy. Anything can happen in one year. If you were projected to be the
number one overall draft pick coming out of high school, when you are forced to go to college
youre stock can only go one placedown. It is seen as unfair to the players in the United States
because international players are not forced to go to college and can start playing
professionally whenever they want. But most importantly going to college and playing college
basketball puts wear and tear on your body and you can risk getting injured and not even get
the chance to play in the NBA. Take Nerlens Noel for example. A very talented center who was
projected to be a first round draft pick coming out of high school but because of the 1-and-
done-rule had to go to the University of Kentucky and play one season there. He dominated
his competition as expected and was said to be a lock for the overall number one pick of the
NBA draft after his freshman campaign. But just as Nerlens Noel was at the peak of his
freshman year he suffered a terrible knee injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the
season. Now if that have been a more serious knee injury it could have ended his career right
then, but because it wasnt he was still able to go to the NBA draft. Because of the injury
however the NBA scouts questioned whether or not he should be drafted as high as he was
projected, but since he had shined in the 24 games he did play in according to Dana ONeils
article on ESPN it did not affect his draft stock and he was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers in the
draft. The point here is that the players futures are at risk because of the 1-and-done-rule
are affected tremendously.

An interview was conducted for this essay that proves that the 1-and-done-rule is affecting
high school basketball players way of thinking on what they want to do with their basketball
career. A high school basketball player is a very highly ranked and recruited player who is
projected to be a lottery pick in the 2015 NBA draft. The interview went as followed:
Interviewer: Has the 1-and-done-rule affected your thought process for what you plan to do
for college?
Player: Yes, now I dont know whether or not I want to attend college anymore.
Interviewer: Why is that?
Player: I do not want to risk injuring myself and potentially not being able to play basketball in
the NBA.
Interviewer: If you do not go to college what will you do?
Player: I have thought about going overseas and playing basketball for a year because it is a
win-win situation, I get to go play professional basketball and get paid at the same time.
Interviewer: How do you feel about the 1-and-done-rule overall?
Player: I feel that the 1-and-done-rule is pointless honestly. I dont feel that we should be
forced to attend college and risk our futures and the financial security of our families.
The player was very passionate about his stance on the 1-and-done-rule, and the interview
shows that players are affected by it because it changes there thought process and it scares
them away from college.
How are the colleges and the NBA affected by the rule?
The colleges and the NBA are affected by the 1-and-done-rule as well, but in
different ways. There are ups and downs as it pertains to a 1-and-done player though.

For starters college athletics is how colleges and universities make the majority of their
money. Big time athletes and well known basketball players coming out of high school
provide for a buzz around your team which make fans interested, which gets your team
more attention, which in time leads to more money. But most coaches are willing to
take a chance on a 1-and-done player because as Katie Streck writes, The more
coaches win, the more they get paid. (Streck, 2010) Because of this coaches have been
attracted to these big time basketball stars coming out of high school. Also by recruiting
and getting the 1-and-done players you allow yourself to be in good position to get
more the following year. Those are the positives to the 1-and-done-rule and colleges,
but there are also negatives. One and done players are not beneficial in building or
maintaining a program. A coach works hard and puts his time and effort into recruiting
the best players when in the end it is not helping build or maintain his program.
(Streck, 2010) By recruiting 1-and-done basketball players after they leave you have to
find another one to replace him in order to maintain the success you had with the
previous player. If not you may find yourself struggling and end up losing your job. Also
professors and tutors spend the time to make sure these athletes are passing so that
they can play when they know that they will only be there for a short period of time.
The 1-and-done-rule affects the NBA also. As Grant Hughes writes in his article
on Bleacher Report, There's no doubt that the NBA benefits the most from the one-
and-done rule. (Hughes, 2013) Hughes goes on to say that college helps give the
players a name, which leads to NBA fans knowing who they are in time leading to them
being marketable right off the back. The 1-and-done-rule also gives NBA scouts and

coaches time to look at the players and see how they develop over the course of a
college basketball season. But the 1-and-done-rule also negatively affects the NBA.
Lets say a young high school phenom is ready to play right away for a NBA team that has
been struggling and could use his services, they cannot because he has to go to college
for a year so they can continue to struggle. But for the most part the NBA definitely
benefits from the rule.
The 1-and-done-rule has its ups and downs and will continue to be argued and
debated for years to come. For right now no change seems to be coming, but there are
speculations that new Commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver is thinking about changing
the rule to players must be the age of twenty to come into the NBA. This issue will
always be around as new and exciting basketball talent comes to play!

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Nichols, J. (n.d.). Does College Experience Lead to Success - Does
College Experience Lead to Success - Retrieved April 11, 2014,
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Streck, K., & Masterson, G. (2010). The One and Done Rule: A Need for Change. Insights To A
Changing World Journal, (4), 55-64.

Tyler, J. (2014, April 29). Telephone interview.
Washburn, G. (2013, December 26). NBA and NCAA should rethink one-and-done eligibility rule.
The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from
Yeatts, R. (2012, April 23). NBA Draft. Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from