WASHINGTON — Longtime Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said the NBA will be prepared for the elimination of the one-and-done rule, but he’s not so sure about the NCAA.
“The NCAA is not prepared right now,” Krzyzewski said Saturday a day before an Elite Eight showdown against Michigan State. “They need to be in concert with the NBA in developing a plan that is specific for men’s college basketball.
“And that should include what an athlete gets, how he’s been taken care of, whether or not there’s a reentry if something – really, it’s deep. And if we only look at it shallow, then we’re doing a disservice to the kids. And that’s why I would hope that the NCAA has someone leading this to figure it all out.”
USA TODAY reported last month the NBA sent a formal proposal to the National Basketball Players Association with details on lowering the draft eligibility age to 18 from 19 which would allow high school players to enter the draft.
The NBA is on schedule to make the change by the 2022 NBA draft.
Krzyzewski had more questions than answers. Does the G League grow and provide marketing and TV competition for NCAA basketball? What will be the NCAA’s model be once the one-and-done rule is eliminated?
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“These are fundamental things that are going to happen because the NBA is a business,” he said. “It’s an amazing business. They’re going to have a model. What’s our model? And how do we cooperate with them and the players association.”
Krzyzewski was also hopeful.
“We work a little bit better than our government, where we don’t just sit on both sides of the aisle,” he said of the NBA and NCAA basketball leadership.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo expressed some of Krzyzewski’s concerns but also added the old-school worry about players skipping college and entering the draft when they’re not ready.
“Honestly, I am still worried more about the kids and the decisions that they make and who’s influencing those decisions,” Izzo said. “And everybody else says, well, the coaches make a lot of money and the teams make a lot of money and the colleges make a lot of money. But what we never talk about is the kids could lose a lot of money making a wrong decision at 18 or not ready for the world that you’re entering.”
Izzo said he is fine with whatever the rule is but will remain concerned about the players.
“If it’s one-and-done, if it’s coming right out of high school, If it’s two years and done, we’re going to play by the same rules,” he said. “And probably I’ll keep my job and
probably the school won’t go under. But I really worry about how many kids either don’t make it or make it, but their life’s been tainted because they’re not mature enough to handle those situations.
“And I laugh at the people because I’m not against it at all. I just I don’t think — there’s moving parts that I don’t think we know; and then it will take five, six years to figure out, was it good or was it bad? And I don’t know. There’s only a couple LeBrons and Kobes out there.”