Little by little, inch by inch, mircomoment by micromoment, maybe the NCAA is finally starting to get it.
Monday brought news that the Indianapolis suits are proposing a new rule that would allow college underclassmen to return to school even after declaring for the NBA Draft.
Under the proposal, underclassmen who have declared for the draft would be able to attend the NBA Combine in May, when they could get a better reading from teams about their draft status. Players would then be allowed to return to college, if they wished, as long as they had not signed with an agent.
Under the new proposal, underclassmen would be allowed to participate in one NBA team workout in addition to the combine. The deadline to withdraw from the draft would be 10 days after the combine.
Players also would be able to declare for the draft in multiple years, if that’s their choosing.
I know, it all makes too much sense for the NCAA to pass.
Even better, if implemented, the new guidelines would take effect for the 2016 NBA Draft.
Of course, we can expect some grousing from power-hungry coaches worried about whether Player A is leaving or staying or coming back. The poor coach will just have to deal with it.
The proposal would get rid of a lot of the guesswork that marks the current guidelines. A player is forced to declare before he could possibly get all the information needed to make a realistic decision. Even now, prospect evaluations change right up to the last minute.
The “agent” is the sticky wicket here. Most players hire an agent as soon as they declare. The agent often acts as another piece of the puzzle as far as gathering information, acquiring preliminary information as far as expected contracts, etc.
In fact, in a perfect world, my perfect world, underclassmen not drafted should have the right to return to college. That would really give the power to the player.
Photo of Devin Booker by Kevin Arbogast/AP
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