Thu Apr 29 12:08pm EDT
Mark Emmert still hasn't revealed whether he's a proponent of expanding the men's basketball tournament or not, but the newly hired NCAA president did offer a strong stance on one hoops-related issue on Wednesday.
He'd like to be done with the one-and-dones.
"I think it creates difficult problems inside universities when we're trying to promote an emphasis on (players being) students as well as athletes," the former University of Washington president told USA Today. "It certainly creates a challenge for individual programs."
The one-and-done phenomenon began in 2005 when the NBA added a clause to the league's collective bargaining agreement requiring players to be at least a year out of high school before entering the league. The rule change has provided college basketball an influx of talented freshmen who might previously have turned pro out of high school, but it also has raised questions about whether education has become a necessary evil for those players.
Emmert said he plans to follow up on the conversations his late predecessor Myles Brand had with NBA commissioner David Stern on the issue, but in reality that is not who he needs to persuade. Stern has shown interest in requiring college prospects to wait two years to turn pro in the next collective bargaining agreement, but NBA Players Association chief Billy Hunter has resisted.
A two-year plan would benefit the NBA because more of the prospects entering the league would be instantly recognizable to fans who have followed them in college, but it will be very difficult to get the player's association to agree. A more likely alternative to the status quo might be something similar to baseball's rule, which allows players to turn pro out of high school but requires them to stay three or more years in college if they don't.
No matter what, Emmert intends to start a dialogue so that the NCAA's position on the matter is clear.
"I have not obviously talked with the heads of any of the professional sports," he said. "But the impact of their policies and rules on intercollegiate sports is significant, and I intend to build relationships with those people to see how we can work together to mutual advantage if we can do that. The one-and-done rule would just be another example of things we could work on."