Adjustments Made to NCAA Draft Eligibility Rules for Basketball Players

NCAA Draft Eligibility RulesNCAA Draft Eligibility Rules Changed

The National Collegiate Athletic Association recently adjusted its rules on declaring for the NBA draft.

At times college basketball players attempting to determine their likelihood of being drafted may have felt stymied by NCAA eligibility rules. Previous association rules placed an April limit on players’ ability to remove their names from the draft while maintaining eligibility to play college basketball the following season. That means a freshman trying to decide whether or not to enter into the draft would have to finalize that choice by April, while the draft combine is typically in May and the event itself in June. The combine offers players the best chance to gauge their chances at being drafted.

New rules will make it easier for students to decide whether to enter the draft

The new NCAA eligibility rules will make it easier for players to determine what their chances of being drafted are. This was achieved by pushing back the deadline for a student to remove his name from the draft. This will give players more time to decide whether to stay with their schools for another season or keep their names in the draft, which would cancel their eligibility to play college basketball the following season but would give them the chance to play in the NBA.

Draft-eligible players are invited by the NBA to the combine to test their skills against their peers and display their talents to NBA scouts.

Cody McDavis, a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, explained in an NCAA press release on the change that the deadline pushback will prove beneficial to amateur basketball players who hope to make the leap to the professional level, but are unsure about their chances.

“[The rule allows] student-athletes to realize their dreams without punishing them for having such dreams” he said. “Almost every men’s basketball student-athlete has dreamt of playing in the NBA. This proposal allows them to attempt to make those dreams a reality without taking away their ability to come back and play in amateur collegiate sport if they happen to be unsuccessful.”

The new rule will push the deadline for removing one’s name from the draft to ten days after the combine. This gives students the chance to participate in the event and come away from it with a much better understanding of their prospects for being drafted. Students will also be able to enter the draft and combine multiple times without affecting their eligibility, which means that if one year a player decides he wants to stay for another season and removes his name from the draft, he can reenter again later on.

College practices leading up to the combine allowed by NCAA

The NCAA also adjusted rules pertaining to practice. Students invited to the combine will be allowed to work out with their college coaches from the time of invitation until the decision to withdraw from the draft. These offseason workouts will be subject to the same rules as in-season practices. The time limit will be four hours per day for up to 20 hours weekly. The new practice rules will ensure students can receive top-flight training leading up to the combine without leaving their classes. In a win-win rule change for the players, it will provide academic continuity as well as assurance that they are in the best shape possible leading up to the combine.

If you have questions about NBA draft eligibly or other NCAA rules speak with an experienced sports law attorney.

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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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