The one-and-done era in college basketball has generated plenty of criticism from those within the sport, and legendary former Indiana University head coach Bob Knight is the latest to speak out.
According to Chris Littmann of Sporting News, Knight lamented the fact that college basketball players are allowed to enter the NBA after their freshman season in an interview segment on ESPN's Mike and Mike.
Knight has never been known as the most tactful speaker, and that continued Tuesday when he used the word "raped" to describe the relationship between the NBA and college basketball.
If I were involved with the NBA I wouldn't want a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old kid, to bring into all the travel and all the problems that exist in the NBA. I would want a much more mature kid. I would want a kid that maybe I've been watching on another team and now he's 21, 22 years old instead of 18 or 19, and I might trade for that kid. On top of it all, the NBA does a tremendous, gigantic disservice to college basketball. It's as though they've raped college basketball in my opinion.
Joun Ourand of the Sports Business Journal provides ESPN's comments on the matter:
ESPN, on Bob Knight's comment that the NBA has "raped" college basketball: "We spoke with him. ESPN regrets the use of the word.”— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) March 25, 2014
Not surprisingly, Knight received plenty of criticism for comparing the dynamic between college basketball and the NBA to such a heinous act. Zach Osterman of The Indianapolis Star was among those who chastised the Hall of Famer:
The bulk of college basketball's top freshmen opt to enter the NBA draft as soon as possible, and it seems likely that Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Duke's Jabari Parker and Kentucky's Julius Randle will enter the fray once this season concludes as well.
Changes in draft eligibility have essentially forced top prospects to play a year of college basketball rather than entering the draft right out of high school. As a result, college basketball fans now have an opportunity to enjoy elite young players, even if it's only for a year.
Had this system been in place previously, players like LeBron James and Dwight Howard almost certainly would have played major college basketball for one season.
Despite the NBA seemingly trying to aid college basketball on the surface, Knight doesn't feel as though enough is being done. His preference is for the NBA to adopt the Major League Baseball model.
Major League Baseball has the best idea of all. Three years before they'll take a kid out of college, then they have a minor league system that they put the kids in. I'm sure that if the NBA followed the same thing, there would be a lot of kids in a minor league system that still were not good enough to play in the major NBA.
When should players be permitted to enter the NBA draft?
Knight's idea may seem like a great one to college basketball purists, but it's a tough sell to top draft prospects when they routinely watch players enter the NBA after their freshman years and assimilate seamlessly.
Some players ultimately flounder after entering the draft too early, like Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles and Kwame Brown, to name a few, but it should be their decision to make.
Knight is entitled to his opinion, and there are many who seem to share it. As is often the case in sports, though, the old-school contingent is unwilling to accept inevitable change. And Knight isn't doing his cause any favors.
The relationship between college basketball and the NBA will continue to be a hot-button issue moving forward, and it is a fluid situation that could very well change in the coming years. This is likely far from the last that we've heard from Knight on the subject, but hopefully he's more aware of what he says in the future.
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