ESPN president rips NBA's one-and-done rule

LAS VEGAS -- ESPN president John Skipper threw his considerable weight behind changing the NBA's one-and-done rule at the Football Bowl Association annual meeting.

“I think it's the single worst violation of student-athlete relationships,” Skipper told a roomful of bowl officials.

“Kids don't go to class the second semester. They come in and play basketball a year and leave. I have no quarrel with kids wanting to go play basketball, [but] I think they should have to stay a couple or three years.”

“I don't know anybody who does [like it], There's one small set of people who are against that. Those are agents, representatives for NBA players.”

ESPN is a rights-holder for both college basketball conferences and the NBA. Probably nothing much will happen until the NBPA finds a new executive director.

“That's the most important thing,” Skipper said.

Could the one-and-done issue enter TV contract negotiations? The NBA's deals with Turner Sports and ESPN end after the 2015-16 season.

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver has made addressing the one-and-done issue one of his top priorities. Since 2006, the NBA has mandated that players must be at least be 19 years of age and at least a year out of high school in order to play in the league.

The rule has been divisive for some as it has been elemental for schools such as Kentucky.

More Skipper: “[John] Calipari isn't one [who supports one-and-done]. He has successfully played within the rules of the game. Nobody wants it. It's puzzling to me because it's a zero-sum game.”

Skipper reiterated a stance that the cable giant doesn't influence leagues and sports, but he was adamant about what might be the hottest subject in college basketball.

“Some of that is personal opinion,” he said of one-and-done. “For the most part we stay out of regulation.”

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