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Shaquille O’Neal says players should have to stay three years

Jan 18, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal AP

As part of a 30-minute question-and-answer session, as part of the NCAA convention on Wednesday, Shaquille O’Neal talked with the president of the NCAA, Mark Emmert about a variety of topics. Which included the one-and-done rule.

O’Neal spent three years at LSU, before being drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic, going onto win three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, another with the Miami Heat, retiring and waiting for his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which should happen the second he’s eligible.

However, when it comes to one-and-done Shaq disagrees with the current rule. O’Neal told Emmert that if he could, he would make it “three-and-done.”

This is one of the more controversial topics, and O’Neal did address the exceptions for why some players choose to leave school early.

“A lot of guys do it because of their financial situation and they need to do it. That’s the only way to provide a better means for their family. So when you look at it from that aspect, I understand it,” said O’Neal.

O’Neal went on to advise anyone that leaves early to go back and finish their education, like he did.

There are players, who leave for the wrong reasons, but there are too many variables to change it to three years. For example, look at Anthony Davis and his season at Kentucky. He won a national title and national player of the years as a freshman. What more did he have to prove in two more mandatory years in Lexington?

Or guys like who are tagged with the potential label, such as Andre Drummond Connecticut? Drummond was high in various mock drafts because of his size and tremendous athletic ability. He stock was as high as it probably could be – ended up being a top-10 pick – and he chose to leave Storrs for the NBA. If he came back, had a lackluster sophomore campaign, or unfortunately injured himself, he costs himself millions.

If the rule was changed, as Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News mentioned it almost was during the NBA lockout last year, it would be interesting how the game changes if players were forced to stay longer. John Wall, the top pick in 2010, would just be eligible for the draft now under the three-and-done rules.

Changing the one-and-done rule up to three years could also have other consequences. Do more players jump to Europe like Brandon Jennings and get paid? Does the D-League become a route for players?

The one-and-done rule is always a topic of discussion in college basketball. It’s a system that’s not designed for everyone. Those who are ready for the NBA should have the option to leave early. There’s no clear-cut answer for how this should be addressed, but adding increasing the years might not be it.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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