We’ve noted this on GABA before, but “coach-speak” and Frank Martin aren’t even in the same universe. If you ask the South Carolina basketball coach what he thinks about a certain issue, you’ll get the bold, honest, unfiltered truth.
CBS’s Matt Norlander recently interviewed several coaches from around the country, including Martin, Tom Izzo, Scott Drew, and former Butler-turned-Ohio State head man Chris Holtmann, about possible changes to the current one-and-done system that prevents high-level prospects to be out of high school for at least a year before entering the NBA Draft or older than 19. (NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently told Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd that the league was “rethinking (its) position” on whether the rule should remain in place or be abolished.) One idea that has been floated is something similar to what’s in place for college baseball.
As things are supposed to be governed now, agents are prohibited to be in contact with any NCAA player prior to that player declaring for the draft. With a baseball rule in place, you'll have anywhere from 25-35 high school prospects annually considering their chances at being drafted at 17, 18 years old. With that, agents behind the scenes will (likely more transparently) come into the mix. Inevitably, many of those high school kids will not go pro. But does the relationship with the agent suddenly vanish? Of course it doesn't. This is the big unintended consequence of an NBA-instituted rule potentially having drastic effects at the NCAA level.
Martin is hardly a fan, arguing that it would be an unneeded distraction for college athletes and would open the door to other, larger issues.
How long before the NCAA investigates the whole agent dynamic, how much money was taken, how much money has to be paid...I think we're opening ourselves up to major problems, unless it's an automatic: you can go back to college (if you aren't drafted) but you have to sit a year. Then we're protecting ourselves from any agent nonsense.
Later, Martin told Norlander that he feels that if a player declares for college, they need to stay the entire four years.
They need to allow kids, if they want to declare as eighth graders, they should declare. It is what it is. But if they come to college, their choice, not ours, then they need to stay in college. The rule works in every other sport. I don't know why it's such a problem in basketball. I'm against the age limit. I'm against one-and-done. I'm against two-and-done. ... That way, whoever wants to be in college, come on. Whoever wants to be a pro with this great D League and all these two-way contracts, go. Go. Go. They can go and play in front of 150 people.
Interesting point. The NFL only allows those that have been three years removed from high school graduation (in essence: redshirt sophomores or juniors in college) to declare for the draft. The NHL and MLB are outliers, but they both allow youngsters to be drafted without college. So why is it such an issue when it comes to basketball?
Martin’s stance is that you either go to college or go pro/to the G-League (previously the D-League) right out of high school, and that the NBA is restricting players by not allowing stipulations for those that choose the former. I get that. And I would argue that it would even even the playing field in college basketball somewhat. But both sides will look to do what benefits themselves the most (read: what makes the most financial sense), so I agree with Norlander that there’s no perfect solution that exists.