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The Bottom Line: One-and-done rule should end this season

first_imgInstead, the only thing Williamson got was an injury in the first minute of the game because his shoe broke. Yes, it’s typically a big rivalry game, but that’s not the only reason why people were willing to purchase such expensive tickets —  getting to see Williamson play North Carolina was ultimately the primary motivation for many of those who walked through the doors of Cameron Indoor Stadium. While his injury that night doesn’t look too serious, imagine if Williamson had torn his ACL. Everything he’s worked for and earned could have been taken away from him in an instant — the guy that people were willing to spend over $4,000 to watch would have made absolutely nothing from it.  Zion Williamson has arguably become the biggest college basketball star in recent years due to his sheer athleticism and the virality of his recorded dunks. Unfortunately, he didn’t earn even a penny that night.  Robby Aronson is a sophomore writing about sports. His column, “The Bottom Line,” runs every other Wednesday. If Duke makes the Final Four in this year’s March Madness, and Williamson is healthy and playing, I’m confident the tournament will have its highest television ratings of the decade because people want to see what he will do next.  From an NBA perspective, it would have been catastrophic if Williamson had suffered a career-ending injury in that game. With LeBron James getting older, the NBA is desperate to find a player that could become the face of the league. Many believe that Williamson has what it takes. NBA ratings are likely to decline once James leaves unless a player with as much star power emerges into the league. If Williamson continues on his current path, he has the potential to become James’ heir. However, had this once-in-a-generation talent suffered a career-ending injury in that college game, the NBA could have lost millions of dollars in potential marketing value. Collegiate athletes like Williamson should not be restricted from marketing themselves to their highest potential. Every shoe company would offer Williamson millions of dollars right now if they were allowed to, but instead, Williamson is left with nothing because of collegiate restrictions? Some of the greatest basketball players never played a single NCAA game. Icons like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James went straight into the NBA from high school without ever having to risk injuries. The bottom line? It’s time to end the one-and-done rule. It isn’t fair for athletes to risk their potential value each night they take the floor to earn nothing while their respective universities are profiting off their talent. What’s even more illogical is that they aren’t allowed to sign endorsement deals while playing in college. According to StubHub, the average ticket price for last week’s Duke-North Carolina basketball game was well over $4,000. There was so much hype surrounding the game and Duke freshman Zion Williamson that even former President Barack Obama sat in the front row.  The NBA is a star-driven league — the general public typically watches basketball because it wants to see specific players play, not to watch good teams play. Ratings were so high for the league in the ’90s because Michael Jordan played.  While collegiate basketball offers players the opportunity to market themselves and maximize their potential value on the national stage, it is not worth risking the opportunity to make millions of dollars. Williamson’s injury scare demonstrates that elite college athletes and the NBA have too much at stake to continue the one-and-done rule. Prior to the game, it was almost certain that Williamson would make millions of dollars as the first pick in the NBA draft, and also sign one of the largest shoe deals ever for a player coming out of college.last_img read more

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