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Proposed NCAA Rule Change Would Allow College Players to Return to School After Declaring for NBA Draft
A proposed NCAA rule change would allow college underclassmen to return to school after declaring for the NBA Draft. The change was officially approved by the NCAA men’s basketball oversight committee on Wednesday. If adopted by the membership in a January 2016 vote, it would take effect for the 2016 draft.
Why is this a big deal? Under current NCAA rules, once players declare for the NBA draft, they forfeit whatever collegiate eligibility they have left. However, only a handful of players have any level of certainty as to where (or even if) they might be drafted, and without that information it’s hard to make informed decisions about your future.
The new rule aims to fix that. It would allow freshmen and sophomores to declare for the draft and attend the NBA’s combine in May to get feedback from NBA teams as to their chances of being drafted. Then they would have 10 days after the combine to decide whether or not to remain in the draft or—so long as they have not signed with an agent—return to school.
Theoretically, this is a win-win. Players get to explore professional careers without taking unnecessary gambles, and schools will almost certainly get some players back after they kick the NBA Draft tires.
That said, a far better system would allow players to keep their collegiate eligibility through the entire draft process. That’s how it works in MLB. High school and college kids can get drafted, but they only lose NCAA eligibility if they sign and actually become professionals. Which makes sense.
But hey, baby steps are better than no steps.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]