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A Point About Derrick Rose

It's been a tough couple of days for Derrick Rose, the NBA rookie of the year who, it's now being alleged, cheated on his SAT's and had his grades changed when he was a student at Simeon High School in Chicago. Say what you will about Rose, but isn't all of this yet another argument for doing away with the NBA's "one and done" rule? Put aside the standard fairness to the player argument--i.e. why should Rose have been forced to go to college for a year (and, allegedly, therefore been forced to cheat to get into college) if he's ready to play in the NBA after finishinghigh school?--and focus instead on why the rule isn't even in the NBA's self-interest. Here you have Rose, the league's rooke of the year and future star, having his name and image dragged through the mud. Most people assume the one-and-done rule benefits the NBA because the one year guys like Rose (and Greg Oden and Kevin Durant) spend in college makes them more marketable when they do come into the league--since basketball fans are already familiar with them, having watched them playing in the NCAA tournament. But Rose would have been a star in the NBA--and, eventually, a very marketable one--regardless of whether he got national exposure playing for Memphis. Now the question is, at what cost to his reputation (and, by extension, the NBA's) did he get that college exposure? I'm not naive enough to think that the NBA would ever do anything just to help the players, but surely the league might want to think about how its one-and-done rule stands to hurt its bottom line.

--Jason Zengerle