So, what's the truth about "one-and-done?" First, it is an NBA rule, not an NCAA rule. The NCAA has no say in the matter. John Calipari has no say in the matter. Logic will tell you that Calipari would love to have his five star McDonald's All-Americans stay longer. The facts are that junior Alex Poythress, sophomores Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee have all returned for at least a second season at Kentucky.
I think it is one thing for opposing fans to hate Kentucky because of its historical significance and our sometimes arrogant fan base (we have reason in some instances), but the one-and-done thing is not a logical reason to hate Kentucky. Even Calipari's critics have to admit that he is the best at taking advantage of the rule, which is not a crime or an NCAA violation. That fact bothers many. The Big Ten wants to make freshmen ineligible because of the rule. Kentucky has more McDonalds All Americans than the entire Big 10, yet the B1G has two teams in the Final Four. It makes you wonder what the problem really is for that conference.
The critics like to point out the vacated Final Fours at UMass and Memphis (included all games for the season). You can't argue with the facts in either case. John Calipari was not implicated in either instance, yet he is considered sleazy. The violations were committed by Marcus Camby dealing with an agent and Derrick Rose and his SAT score, plus the fact that Rose's brother was allowed to travel with the team for free.
In 2006, the NBA said no high school players could be drafted. According to the NCAA, only an average of eight freshmen players have left for the NBA per year since 2007. The maximum was eleven in 2008, ahem, before Calipari came to Lexington. So, why the hate?
The NCAA's study shows that since 2010, just six schools account for two thirds of the one and done population: Kentucky (13), Kansas (4), Duke (3), Texas (3), Arizona (2) and UCLA (2). Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and UCLA are dynastic programs, and Arizona is an elite program. Texas, on the other hand, just fired its coach. The conclusion here has to be that the criticism directed at Kentucky is based on the butt-hurt of jealousy of those who can't achieve the success of Kansas, Duke, UCLA, Arizona and Kentucky.
You'll notice that UCLA has 11 championships, Kentucky has eight championships, Duke has four, Kansas has five, Arizona has one and Texas has none. Duke and Kentucky are in this year's Final Four and could meet in the championship game. So, is it a mere coincidence that these two basketball programs are the most hated? Mike Krzyzewski is perhaps the best coach in the country with a 943-251 record. He is a hall of fame coach who has brought Duke four championships and twelve Final Fours. John Calipari's short career at Kentucky has brought the school one national championship and his fourth Final Four in his sixth year. As you know, Cal has been nominated for the Hall of Fame along with Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
Here's a quote and graphic from the NCAA study:
The numbers show that the real destabilizing force in Division I men's basketball is transfer behavior. About 20% of all freshman men's basketball players leave their initial school after one year and 40% in total are gone by the end of year two. The vast majority of these departures are transfers. We tracked every player from the 2012-13 freshman class into the next year and found the following outcomes:
You can read the whole study at the NCAA site by clicking on this link.
The NCAA research group also has another piece regarding some myths that they've found to be untrue. It addresses the following fables:
1. Student-athletes have a good read on whether they'll go pro or compete in the Olympics;
2. More than ever, Division I athletes are pursuing the same, easy majors;
3. Student-athletes drink and use drugs more than other students on campus;
4. You can't believe the NCAA graduation rates - their numbers are distorted;
5. Student-athletes don't care about community service;
6. All Football Bowl Subdivision athletics departments net millions of dollars and pour more institutional money into athletics than other Division I schools that are not in FBS'
7. ‘One and done' men's basketball players are bad students;
8. A male student-athlete gets more scholarship aid than a female.
And, here's an interesting study regarding graduation rates for the sixty-eight teams in this year's NCAA Tournament which you should find very interesting. Of the Final Four teams, Duke has a 995 APR (Academic Progress Rates), Kentucky has a 998 APR, Michigan State has a 980 APR, and Wisconsin has a 975 APR. This study was done by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics for Sports (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. You can read the study and see the GSRs (Graduation Success Rates) and APRs for all 68 tournament teams at this link. It is well worth reading.
As a born-and-raised Cheesehead, I would love to chant "On Wisconsin" with a straight face as the Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers are a top seed in the NCAA's men's basketball tournament. But the honest tune is, "Off Wisconsin."
Be informed and read these reports because you will have plenty of ammunition when confronted by the hostiles.