NCAA implements earlier decision date for Men’s Basketball Student-Athletes considering the NBA Draft

In men’s basketball, student-athletes who were undecided about remaining in college and continuing their collegiate eligibility, or entering the NBA draft, were able to research their options up to May 8, or for approximately 50 days, before having to make a decision.

Effective August 1, 2011, these men’s basketball student-athletes must request for their names to be removed from the draft list and declare their intent to retainEX300 exam intercollegiate eligibility no later than the day before the first day of the spring National Letter of Intent [NLI] signing period for that year. This year that date would have been April 13, 2011, or 25 days earlier.

The proposal was drafted by the Atlantic Coast Conference [ACC] because it felt the May 8th date left collegiate head coaches in limbo regarding the status of their rosters for the upcoming season because that date is 22 days after the first day of the NLI signing period for men’s basketball. The ACC believed, and the NCAA membership agreed with its vote, that by moving the withdrawal deadline college basketball coaches will have flexibility to address roster issues at the beginning of the spring signing period while other viable prospects are still available to their
circusgold programs.

The rationale for the proposal stated that “evaluations by professional scouts and others during preseason practices, regular season games and postseason games should provide student-athletes with adequate information to credibly determine NBA draft decisions.”

The proposal also noted that student-athletes typically spent a large part of the decision time away from campus training for pre-draft workouts, causing academic concerns.

The proposal was supported by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Issues Committee, but the Committee did express some concern as to whether an earlier date would create distractions at the conclusion of the regular basketball playing season.

The proposal was opposed by the NCAA Amateurism Cabinet citing the current rule has only been in effect for one year. Cabinet members also felt

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that “reducing the current time period might put some student-athletes at a disadvantage by not allowing them sufficient time to gather adequate information, as well as taking away opportunities for student-athletes to participate in pre-draft workouts.”

In talking with compliance officers at the June NCAA Regional Rules Compliance Seminar their concern is that in losing 25 decision days, the compliance office will not be able to fully assist the student-athletes in researching this important decision, and that agents will play a greater role and possibly talk some student-athletes into remaining in the draft beyond the date required to retain collegiate eligibility. This could result in more student-athletes not being drafted and losing their collegiate eligibility.

Men’s basketball student-athlete need to be be certain before forgoing their remaining collegiate eligibility because once lost it cannot be regained.


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