Campus Corner

MU’s Haith would like to see NBA’s draft entry rules changed

Updated: 2014-02-01T00:14:10Z


The Kansas City Star

Count Missouri coach Frank Haith among those who dislike the one-and-done culture of big-time college basketball.

The NBA instituted a rule before the 2006 draft requiring that players entering the league be at least 19 and at least one year removed from high school graduation.

That prevented the nation’s best high school players from making the leap straight from the prep ranks to the NBA. It also ushered in an era of college basketball where the best players often spend one season on campus under the guise of being student-athletes before embarking on a pro career.

“I do kind of wish the rule would be that, if kids go to school, they stay in school longer, whether it be two or three years,” Haith said. “It’s kind of like a one-and-done type thing, and I’m not a big fan of that.”

The NFL requires players to be three years removed from high school before entering its draft. That means the best players generally can’t leave until after their junior season of college.

There are exceptions when a player redshirts — as in the case of Johnny Manziel, who declared for the draft as a redshirt sophomore — or attends a prep school or military academy for a year after graduating from high school, which allowed wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to leave after only two seasons at Pittsburgh.

Major League Baseball still drafts players out of high school. Even a player with a GED can become draft eligible, a loophole Bryce Harper exploited to leave high school early and enter the draft at age 17.

But if a player opts to play at a four-year college or university, he is not eligible for the draft again for three seasons. That rule doesn’t apply at two-year schools. Teams can draft players from junior colleges after their freshman or sophomore seasons.

While no system is perfect, Haith said he’d prefer to see a return to the days when the NBA could draft high school players.

“I wish that rule would come back in play instead of playing with the college education type thing,” Haith said. “I think it would help both games. I think it would help the NBA to have kids stay in school a bit longer if they go to college. Also, I think if kids are good enough to go out of high school, I would support that as well.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to Follow him at

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