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Posted February 23, 2011

Izzo Supports 3-Year Rule Prior To The NBA

Detroit Free Press

EAST LANSING -- Toward the end of ESPN's "College GameDay" broadcast from East Lansing on Saturday, analysts Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis discussed the possibility of a rule that would keep college basketball players out of the NBA until they're three years removed from high school. A bookend rule could allow players who want to skip college to go directly to the NBA again. (Many observers think that number would be small.)

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was so impressed by the discussion, he said he was going to send a tape to the National Association of Basketball Coaches, of which he is president.

"I thought Hubert and Jay were unbelievable," he said. They were "talking about the benefits for everybody, (how) everybody is losing (now)."

Izzo said the arrangement -- prep players must wait a year before joining the NBA -- "is hurting basketball, in general." He says the lack of continuity is bad for college hoops and the rules hurt the NBA more.

"When the NBA figures out it has spoiled potential millionaires instead of, you know, performance millionaires, I think everybody is going to benefit," he said.

In other words, let the players stay in school and mature and grow before heading to professional ball.

Under the system now, Izzo also pointed out, players become stigmatized for staying in school. He cited MSU's Durrell Summers.

" 'If I stay in school another year, am I a failure?' The answer is no, but the perception is, maybe, yes," Izzo said.

As for the likelihood of the rule being implemented? Don't count on it.

"I don't think the agents will let it," Izzo said.


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