For many years, the NCAA did not provide basketball student-athletes who wished to “test the waters” with an adequate opportunity to receive necessary information regarding their draft status before making an informed decision about their future. However, after much work done by the NABC, the NCAA adopted a number of new rules designed to aid men’s basketball student-athletes in their pursuit of making the correct decision about their professional future. Let’s take a look at some of the changes that were made last year.
Men’s basketball student-athletes have been able to accept actual and necessary expenses to attend the draft combine as well as individual team tryouts (48-hour period) for many years. However, until recently, such participation in the combine could never conflict with class time. Now, under Bylaw 188.8.131.52.2, a student-athlete selected to participate in the NBA draft combine is able to miss class in order to participate in the combine. As the combine is a seminal event that assists a student-athlete in determining his draft stock, the recent changes are more student-athlete friendly to allow the S-A to attend.
184.108.40.206.1 Exception for Basketball Draft Combine. In basketball, a student-athlete may accept actual and necessary travel, and room and board expenses from a professional sports organization to attend that organization’s basketball draft combine regardless of the duration of the camp. [See Bylaw 14.6.4-(e).] (Adopted: 4/23/03, Revised: 5/26/06, 4/26/07 effective 8/1/07, 11/7/13)
220.127.116.11.2 Exception — Men’s Basketball. In men’s basketball, an individual may receive actual and necessary expenses each year in conjunction with one 48-hour tryout per professional team and in conjunction with a professional organization’s draft combine. An individual who is invited to participate in a professional organization’s draft combine is permitted to miss class for such participation and associated travel. (Adopted: 1/14/16)
Similarly, the NCAA changed its rules relative to declaring for and removing a name from the NBA draft to preserve eligibility. In the past, the deadline to remove one’s name from draft consideration was in late April. Under the new legislation, a student-athlete has until 10 days after the NBA combine concludes to remove his name from draft consideration; the 2017 draft withdrawal deadline to preserve eligibility is May 24, 2017. As one would imagine, this allows student-athletes with a larger period to train and seek advice on their draft status prior to making a decision.
18.104.22.168.1.1 Men’s Basketball. In men’s basketball, an enrolled student-athlete may enter a professional league’s draft each year during his collegiate career without jeopardizing eligibility in that sport, provided: (Adopted: 4/30/09 effective 8/1/09, Revised: 4/28/11 effective 8/1/11, 1/14/16)
(a) The student-athlete requests that his name be removed from the draft list and declares his intent to resume intercollegiate participation not later than 10 days after the conclusion of the professional league’s draft combine. If the professional league does not conduct a draft combine, the student-athlete must request that his name be removed from the draft list not later than the end of the day before the first day of the spring National Letter of Intent signing period for the applicable year;
(b) The student-athlete’s declaration of intent is submitted in writing to the institution’s director of athletics; and
(c) The student-athlete is not drafted.
Lastly, the NCAA made additional changes to allow those student-athletes who declare for the draft AND are selected to attend the NBA combine to engage in additional CARA to hone their skills in preparation for the draft. Specifically, the student-athlete can participate in 20 hours of CARA per week (no more than four hours per day) upon receiving an invitation to the combine; this can continue until the student-athlete withdraws from the draft or until the NBA deadline to withdraw from the draft (June 12, 2017 @ 5:00 PM ET). Obviously, student-athletes will have the opportunity to engage in additional skill instruction with their coaching staff in order to prepare for the combine and any individual team workouts that they may be invited to.
22.214.171.124.4 Exception — Draft Combine Invitation — Men’s Basketball. In men’s basketball, a student-athlete who has entered a professional league’s draft and has been invited to attend the league’s draft combine may participate in countable athletically related activities for up to four hours per day and 20 hours per week from the date of receipt of the invitation to participate in the combine until the date on which the student-athlete withdraws from the professional league’s draft or the date of the league’s deadline to withdraw from its draft, whichever occurs earlier. (Adopted: 1/14/16)