College basketball underclassmen with their eyes on the NBA Draft will be forced to speed up their decision-making process starting next spring.
The NCAA’s legislative council voted Monday to give non-seniors who declare for the draft until May 8 to decide whether to keep their names in the draft hat or return to college.
Currently, underclassmen who declare have until 10 days before the June 25 draft to remove their names if they hope to retain eligibility.
“I think it’s probably a step in the right direction. I wish it was earlier than that,” KU coach Bill Self said Tuesday.
Coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference were most vocal about the issue, asking the NCAA to shorten the time frame to 10 days after the Final Four.
Self explained why he was in favor of the new rule, which is expected to be rubber-stamped at next week’s NCAA Div. I board of directors meeting.
“So it doesn’t hang programs up for so long, and it will force the NBA to get the players information at a quicker rate,” Self said. “I thought it (allowing players to wait until June 15) was a bad rule, but it was a rule, so you had to deal with it.”
This year, underclassmen would have until April 26 to declare for the draft and until June 15 to withdraw. Next year is expected to have about the same declaration deadline, with players having until May 8 to make up their minds for good. The May 8 date will give coaches some time to replace departing players before the end of the spring signing period. Prospects have until May 20 this year to sign letters of intent.
A previous version of this story contained a note about the recruitment of Xavier Henry. That note has been moved to a separate file.