Oct 27, 2010; Newark, NJ, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern speaks during a league announcement that 2011 NBA Draft will be held at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Continuing the Three Year Rule Debate

Recently Keeping It Heel  founding editor Matt  wrote a piece highlighting some our discussions the other day about college basketball and the thought of a three year rule.  In this article he wrote

“Acknowledging the flaws in the system, at least it’s not the system baseball operates under.  I like college baseball and follow the Diamond Heels, as much as I can.  College baseball is no where near as exciting as it’s basketball and football counterparts.  A big reason for that (aside from the complete lack of coverage which puzzles me) is that many of the top high school players enter the draft and head to the minor leagues instead of going to college.  Major league baseball doesn’t have a rule against an 18 year old hitting the field fresh out of high school.  Imagine Brice Harper and Manny Machado in college baseball right now.  By at least blocking high school players from entering the league for a minimum of one year, at least college basketball gets a glimpse of the best players before they take off to the pro.”

College basketball and baseball are vastly different when it comes to the pace of the game, player development, and the number of spaces available for players to play professionally in America.  First obviously Matt has not been in Chapel Hill during the runs to the College World series, and must not have been watching the night Chad Flack shocked the crimson tide with his two run homer in the ninth inning.  Yes college basketball gives March Madness and a multitude of great moments, but college baseball is not suffering because Donovan Tate is playing minor league baseball. Wait he no longer is.

Dustin Ackley, JD Drew, Roger Clemons, Rafael Palmero, Will Clark, Robin Ventura, B.J. Surhoff were fun players to watch in college.  Major league baseball may be even worse about evaluating talent than the NBA because projecting how kids will do with professionals is a crap shoot.  How many MLB first round draft picks last year made rosters in the show? Without Googling can you name the last 5 overall number one picks in major league baseball? Like me the answer for most of us would be a resounding no, but according to Matt the top players left before high school. The last three overall number one picks in MLB were college players completing their junior year, and the last four out of five were college players.  Drafting college prospects allow MLB executives to see a player develop against better competition for three years without putting any money into the player.  Are there players  who make the jump right away and are successful, but the fact that the past five years4/5 overall number one picks have been college players shows that college baseball has not suffered because of a three year rule.

Comparing the NBA and the MLB draft is also comparing apples to oranges. The NBA draft has two rounds and many of the second round picks are not even signed to a contract.  Even if every player left who could make in the NBA straight out of high school we are looking at a handful of players.  Major league baseball has so many rounds that i might even get drafted this year.  With each team having multiple minor league teams there are far more opportunities to play than basketball.  In basketball the rosters are limited to half the players a MLB team carries.

Matt also believe the one and done rule in college basketball lets us see a glimpse of the great players without impacting college basketball. This is where I think Matt is using his Carolina Blue goggles to form this opinion. North Carolina is a school where it may be down, and I use the word down loosely, for a year, but it reloads it’s roster with more great players.   The same would be true without the one and done rule.  Matt is thinking about the players that may be at UNC for one year and possibly taking them to the promise land.  However Roy lost JR Smith to the league because he left out of high school, and I think that turned out just fine.  North Carolina would continue to get top recruits because of the tradition, and who wouldn’t want to be in Chapel Hill  as a college kid.  College basketball fans would get to see players develop, and the phrase student athlete could be taken a little more seriously than it is now with kids who skip classes or  stop all together and leave for the NBA after year one.

I believe college athletics should be for kids who are serious about getting a degree and bettering themselves for life.  I will never be for paying college players because i have seen how they can work the system to get the funds they need, but that is for a different column for a different day.  Matt and I will probably never see eye to eye on this, but one day he may come over to the good side of the force.

As always you can follow the Haley and MandMsportshow on twitter @MandMSportshow and you can read more articles from Haley at The Water Cooler.

For Matt’s complete side of this debate click HERE
Which side of the fence are you on? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section (for help click HERE)

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Tags: Chapel Hill FanSided Kendall Marshall Matt Matt Haley Michael Jordan Mlb NBA NBA Draft NCAA Tournament PJ Hairston

  • http://keepingitheel.com/ KIH Matt

    Listen, I’m not debating the fact that good baseball players also have went to college.  You named a bunch of good ones, it’s obvious they exist.  Still, you have to admit that adding all those players that go pro right after HS would help college baseball.  It would also help the athletes, for the few that would just go after freshman year anyway, plenty would realize they need more seasoning and would be better players in the long run for it. 
    I do remember times of excitement around college baseball but the sport as a whole isn’t nearly as marketed, covered or watched as basketball or football.  Major sites like ESPN and SI don’t even have team sites for college baseballs best teams.  I would argue that soccer gets as much if not more coverage. 
    Next look at how removing the HS players from the NBA Draft has helped the NBA.  It was getting ridiculous seeing players that had no business going pro doing so.  Ever year college teams had to be leery of recruiting the top players since they were battling the ultimate reason to break a commitment, a multi-million dollar guaranteed contract.  I’m all for extending the rule, but I don’t think you need to keep players for 3 years in basketball.  Football yes, for most, they need 3 if not 4 years, football is a different game (just as u argue baseball is from basketball).  2 years is the right number if you ask me.  You eliminate the 1 and dones and force some sort of commitment and roster stability for college coaches.  And you eliminate players leaving 2 early that have no business doing so (like McAdoo had he gone).  Players would have a much better idea of whether or not they were ready and their scouting reports would give a much clearer picture on their pro futures.  It’s a win all around to extend it, but tripling the amount of time in 1 shot is too much. 

    • MandMSportshow

       @KIH Matt I think they should have to go four if they commit to a scholarship. So I say Quadruple it.     

      • http://keepingitheel.com/ KIH Matt

        now your just talking out your a$$

        • http://pigskinpickin.blogspot.com/ Haley

          No i am actually serious. I believe higher education should be about academics first then sports. I love going to games, and do not think this attitude means we should limit coaches from giving some players who did not meet standards of regular admitted students a chance at a college education, but the main focus should be on graduating kids from school. Moving our attitudes from college hoops is a farm system for the pros would improve college basketball in my opinion. The NFL has the same situation, but with a three year rule kids are held more accountable about their scholastic responsibilities than these players who are looking to leave after year one. This is a major paradigm shift, and as a football and basketball nut i am afraid I am on the minority view in this debate. Does not make me wrong, but it does make for great conversation.