Friday, December 25, 2015

Proposed rule would benefit potential pro players

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) drives between Harvard guard Tommy McCarthy (3) and guard Agunwa Okolie (35) during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) drives between Harvard guard Tommy McCarthy (3) and guard Agunwa Okolie (35) during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The NCAA Div. I Council is expected to pass a rule in January that will help college basketball players make more informed decisions on whether they should turn pro or return to school.

It’s a rule that also figures to add to the stress level of fans who could be waiting an extra month for the all-important verdicts on the futures of their favorite players.

The proposed rule will allow players to declare for the NBA Draft — while retaining the opportunity to remove their name 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA Combine — which is set for May 10-15, 2016 in Chicago.

The NCAA will allow college players to work out at the Combine — as well as work out individually for one NBA team — and still retain collegiate eligibility as long as they do not sign with agent representation.

Currently, players who wish to return to school must remove their names out of the draft pool by April 10, just before the start of the month-long spring signing period.

Here’s an example of how this all might work.

Let’s say KU junior Wayne Selden Jr. and soph Svi Mykhailiuk are undecided whether to turn pro or return to KU for another season.

If invited to the Combine — not all college standouts will be invited — Selden and Svi, for example, would compete in drills and scrimmages, then receive specific feedback from NBA front office officials.

In fact, an NBA panel of experts would tell those Jayhawks where they likely would be picked if they entered the draft. Those who receive negative feedback might reasonably expect to choose another year of college as the most desirable option.

Players invited to the combine would also be allowed to work out under supervision of their college coaches 20 hours a week leading up to the Combine, thus eliminating the need to leave campus at season’s end to work out with personal trainers.

KU coach Bill Self is in favor of the new proposal despite the fact it could leave his roster in flux during the all-important spring signing period.

Coaches, in effect, may not know for sure how many players they’ll need to sign until late May, just a few days before the start of summer school.

“I think it’s a big step in the right direction,” Self said, “if kids can be educated to the fact there’s really no advantage to dropping out of school to go train until the NBA lets you know if you are even worthy of being an invitee to the Combine.

“If you are not an invitee to the Combine, you are not a draft pick. If they are going to take 60 guys plus foreign guys and you are not one of the guys they think is even worth watching, then that’s a positive statement you should stay in school,” Self added.

A crucial moment in the decision-making process will come when the Combine invitations are issued. If a player, such as Selden or Mykhailiuk, in the example above, is not on the list of invitees ... returning to school (or playing ball in Europe) might be the most logical way to go.

“I think it’ll affect a lot of guys in a good way. They can find out where they are and not make bad decisions to jump,” Self said. “The question is: Will kids stay in school through this entire process? If you stay in school, there’s nothing that could keep you from coming back. If you do go ahead and leave (to work out with trainer) you have potential amateurism issues with agents and expenses.”

The proposal (if passed) will also allow players to enter the NBA Draft multiple times without jeopardizing eligibility as long as they don’t sign with agents. Athletes would be able to participate in the Combine and take part in one individual workout/tryout with an NBA team per year.

“This is a positive development for student-athletes exploring their professional dreams,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball, told Andy Katz of ESPN. “This would give prospects and their families more appropriate time and unbiased info from the NBA to make important decisions. And it would probably lead some to go back to school.”

“We want our student-athletes to maintain their relationships with their coaches,” said Dan Guerrero, the chair of the Div. I Men’s Oversight Committee and athletic director at UCLA. “While this doesn’t impact a significant number of student-athletes, what it does hopefully is help those students who believe they have the opportunity to play professional basketball.”


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 4 months ago

Great rule changes for the student-athletes, however, it's likely to put a few grey hairs into Self's scalp.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 4 months ago

Love the rule change.

With our new normal of not signing players until late in the process anyway we are basically set up for this.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 4 months ago

A great step in the right direction. Now...if we can just keep the "entourage" and their relationships with various agents out of the way so as to not solve one problem while creating another.

Rodney Pain 6 years, 4 months ago

Do it. Don't hesitate. Give players the opportunity to test the waters. It benefits everyone. Fans might be nervous at first, but we can stomach having our rosters finalized in July for a November start. The only ones it potentially hurts is late signees, and only by deferring their process. Do it. Do it now.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 4 months ago

Makes sense.

Now if only the NBA would end the dumb age requirement to enter the draft...

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 4 months ago

This is a great rule, and it's about time. I have seen so many players (not just from KU), jump into the draft, when the shouldn't have! And for those who think it will stress coach Self-this rule will affect every program, but in a positive way! Teams will keep most players, that should not declare, as it will keep agents out of the loop, and it will also let the parents (who really have no clue, but who think they do), and entourages (gold diggers), from swaying players to go into the draft, before they are actually ready to do so! But remember, as this will help KU keep some players who are not ready for the NBA, it will also help schools like Kentucky, Duke, North Caroline, Loisville, Arizona, and other top programs, keep some of their players! This really will help the kids!!!

Mike Riches 6 years, 4 months ago

Open question: as we (almost) enter into conference play, based on what we've seen so far and this new rule, who do you think is leaving early this year?

Kent Richardson 6 years, 4 months ago

On this team it's too early to say. Wayne needs more resume and if he does then so does Svi for sure. Diallo and Bragg have done nothing to change perceptions from 6 months ago.

Svi hasn't impressed anymore than a little bit. Pro teams are getting to see more of him but are you impressed?

Wayne has shown confidence and some cojones but will he keep it up?

Good question Mike.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 4 months ago

Show some integrity, require a 3-year count on all scholarships - problem solved. And it's the best thing for the kids too.

If we are going to become the minor-leagues for the NBA, shouldn't we at least get some affiliation fees?

Typical NCAA; another bad idea to try and shroud their own cowardice.

Mike Riches 6 years, 4 months ago

Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, to try to find alternatives to the NBA raising the age limit, which I think is the best solution. Of course a 3 year count on all scholarships would create a lot of strain on coaches. I don't think recruiting OAD players would go away completely, it would just become more of a gamble. Do you sign a Wiggins for one year and by so doing, forego a Brannen Greene for 3-4 years? OAD talent would most likely be more spread out; top programs couldn't get more than one a year without seriously hurting their roster, but other schools would probably go after them more heavily (do you think TCU with a roster full of four year guys wouldn't take a Diallo to beef up their front line for a year?) As for the players, let's face it, to a 17 yr old kid, the thought of going to play in a foreign league can be quite overwhelming, so going to a second tier school may be the best alternative.

A three year count could also somewhat penalize development. When Embiid was recruited, he wasn't thought of as a OAD...are there coaches out there who would slow down developing potential in fear of losing 1-2 years of scholarship? Also could this change hurt the player in other ways? What about the #14 rated player that most schools don't want to gamble on, who decides to go play in a foreign league and loses exposure opportunity, or worse yet, gets injured in a foreign league?

Anyway, sorry to play devil's advocate...but since there isn't a lot going on today, it's fun to talk about this kind of stuff...

Titus Canby 6 years, 4 months ago

I feel that the age limit is restraint of trade, and should be illegal. A 3-year requirement on scholarships is the same thing. If I'm a great bricklayer, why should I have to wait until I'm 19 to earn a living from what I do so well?

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

The D-League is going to get bigger and better.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 4 months ago

What do you know. The NCAA may finally be getting something right for a change. Anything that helps to make informed decisions is good.

As for a 3-year count on all scholarships, that will never fly. You can't tell a kid who could be making millions that he must stay in college 3 years. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 4 months ago

The kid doesn't have to stay. He/she can do whatever he wants. But the university has to count the scholarship for 3 years, which means they'll quit recruiting OAD's in the first place.

In response, the NBA will eliminate it's rule, or international leagues will take these kids in, or a professional alternative will be developed in the U.S. Everybody wins, and we get to go back to acting a little more like a university.

Benz Junque 6 years, 4 months ago

That's an absurd rule change that would never happen because it benefits NO ONE.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 4 months ago

It has to benefit someone. We just need more time and info to figure it out. Saying it's all for the players makes me suspicious.

Gavin Fritton 6 years, 4 months ago

This rule change is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough. They should make the rule such that a player can decide to return to school AFTER COMPLETION OF THE DRAFT. If a kid goes undrafted or falls into the late first round or into the second, he should be able to return to school and be fully eligible. This would benefit the player and the NCAA member institutions. It would seriously eff with the NBA, but I don't really care abut them just as they don't care about NCAA schools except to the extent they serve as a cost-free minor league for the NBA.

Think about it. How would doing this hurt the player? It wouldn't. It leaves him with the most options. If the NCAA really meant all its talk about "student-athlete welfare," then why wouldn't they want to give the "student-athlete" the most options and the greatest benefit?

Look at it in a real world perspective: Everybody remember Josh Selby? We all know that Bill Self advised him to come back for another year but he was sure he was an NBA prospect so he went and declared and, if memory serves, hired an agent immediately, before the combine and well before the draft. Obviously, the agent is a complicating factor, but just think if Selby had held off and gone through the draft and realized he wasn't a first round pick. He could have com back to KU, which rumor has it was what Bill Self wanted. But the rule should be that if the kid's school doesn't want him back, he can reopen his recruitment and see if any other schools want him. Even if KU didn't want him back, certainly SOME other school would have happily taken him. No harm to KU, no harm to Selby and he gets to return to school for another year to develop his game. Had this been the rule, KU might have had him for a Final Four run and he might be in the NBA, having killed his somewhat negative reputation.

Yes, the NBA would complain, but why do we care? It would probably have the effect of getting the NBA to stop drafting on "potential" and would end up forcing them to draft more seniors and with NBA-ready skills because teams at the bottom of the draft would be less likely to draft players on a flyer. But other then the NBA, who gets hurt? Not the player. Not the schools.

Benz Junque 6 years, 4 months ago

And that change only makes sense if they also change the late signing period to after the NBA Draft.

Gavin Fritton 6 years, 4 months ago

That's a good point. I don't see a down side to that, but I could be convinced.

Titus Canby 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree Benz. Good point.

This rule might also be an incentive for players considering the NBA to attend class during the spring semester. While I have no personal knowledge of this, I suspect they don't. Why else would they leave campus as soon as the season is over?

Joe Ross 6 years, 4 months ago

Even with changing the late signing period it STILL doesnt make sense!

The NBA would just close the door on all draftees who chose not to play and this would nix your hypothetical rule.

Come on Benz! That's an absurd rule change that would never happen...

Gavin Fritton 6 years, 4 months ago

Why would the NBA do that? Are you saying that if Josh Selby put his name in because he thought he was a first rounder and then learned the hard way that he was a second round pick, decided to return to school accepted coaching and played himself into a lottery pick, the NBA is going to say "no way, we don't want you."?

I'm sorry, but I just don't agree. I think the likelier outcome is that the NBA would finally realizing they should stop mistreating their unpaid development league.

And even if you are right and the NBA decided to cu off its nose to spite its face, how is this a bad outcome for the kid? I'm pretty sure Josh Selby never played a regular season game in the NBA. How would this have changed the outcome for the worse? He'd have the option of going through with the NBA, returning to school or playing in Europe.

Joe Ross 6 years, 4 months ago

This is complete and utter nonsense.

Why do you suppose teams with losingest records (the ones who missed the playoffs) get to participate in the draft lottery? Ill supply the answer. The NBA is trying to create parity in the NBA. You destabilize that parity if draftees of the second round may be drafted but opt out. To say nothing of the quandary that would result if a non-losing team created deals or trades with lottery teams whereby the trading team acquired the draft rights to lottery picks. You honestly think the NCAA would make a rule to make this happen? The NCAA and NBA already get together occasionally to discuss what is best for athletes, the NCAA and the NBA collectively (granted, the NCAA is a bit myopic; but they're not going to make rules which hurt NBA teams). This is NONSENSE.

Mike Riches 6 years, 4 months ago

I think the hesitancy to do this has always stemmed from the loss of amateurism surrounding the draft process. Once an agent is hired, the player begins to receive benefits (and often before then, as Self alludes in this article). Of course their eligibility is jeopardized. I think even this most recent rule change creates the potential for major issues surrounding eligibility. I think it's going to be really hard for a player who thinks his college career is over and that he is going pro, to turn down benefits that will be offered to him left and right. To be clear, I personally think players should be able to receive benefits to a certain extent, since they are making the NCAA a ridiculous amount of money, but that's neither here nor there...

Joe Ross 6 years, 4 months ago

There's a problem with your view about how this would affect the NBA. They themselves could make a rule which states that if you get drafted and choose NOT to enter the NBA, then the door is closed for you to play in the league. Forever.

This would ensure that its member teams get who they draft. Your rule might affect the NBA for a year, but it wouldnt go any past that as a response would come very quickly.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 4 months ago

There's going to be an potentially bad situation come out of this rule. The late signing period is well before the new withdrawal date so there will be schools that have to decide if they want to sign a recruit and force a good player out of the program or wait on a player to make a decision and potentially lose a recruit.

With the new withdrawal date being after the end of the spring signing period, there needs to be a couple of other changes made to not have teams potentially having to decide between a potential recruit or a potential returning player. Either the NCAA needs to convince the NBA to move the Combine up a couple of weeks or move the spring signing period back a couple of weeks. Either way, the final date to withdraw from the NBA draft needs to happen before the end of the spring of the spring signing period.

I don't think that's a situation that would be common, but that is a situation that's now possible with the withdrawal and signing dates as is and could make a school look really bad if they have to make this choice.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 4 months ago

Not sure what difference this makes. Every year players get advice through their schools what their likely draft status is. This isn't 1990 anymore.

Marginal or not ready players go based on more than draft status. Academic want to issues and certainly economic issues trump advice, good or bad.

There is also the player who still has some perceived potential who can go and get "some" bucks based on that perception or who could stay in school and negatively remove that perception.

Go and get coaching and physical growth and get paid.

This decision must be based on something else. When I can't figure anything out I always follow the money trail. It's not about the kids I would bet.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 4 months ago

This rule changes a lot of stuff. Players can now work out with their coaches on their campus instead of withdrawing from school to go workout with a private coach. Players can also now privately work out for a team and get more direct feedback from scouts and GMs about their draft stock. It also now changes the date to withdraw from draft by pushing that date back 6 weeks. It also potentially impacts recruiting as well because the withdrawal date is now after the spring signing period instead of before.

Margaret Schadler 6 years, 4 months ago

This change will help some , there are others it won't. Think of players like Ben maclemore, who even NbA. Scouts admitted would really benefit from another year in school but was a high draft choice. He couldn't afford to stay and has struggled in the pros

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