Thursday, May 5, 2011

NCAA Rule Change Ignores Players' Best Interests

A few weeks ago I wrote an article taking the NCAA to task for failure to provide an adequate amount of time for underclassmen in men’s basketball to “test the waters” before having to remove their name from the NBA draft if they wished to retain their college eligibility. It is obvious that the constraints this rule provides on the amount of time individuals have in making this decision are intended to benefit colleges yet do not reflect a modicum of interest in what’s right for the student-athlete.

Just recently the NCAA, in their infinite wisdom behind the lobby of the ACC basketball coaches, made a rule change for 2012 further restricting the date by which student-athletes must renounce their NBA aspirations if they intend to return to school from May 8th (currently) to April 10th (new rules)—not surprisingly the day before the NCAA's spring basketball signing period.

The rationale for this policy change, as described by the coaches who sponsored this rule, was to make sure that student-athletes could focus on academics during the spring while also giving coaches a better idea of their roster for the coming season before the recruiting period closes. While I would always applaud a commitment to academics, coaches and the NCAA don't seem to have any concern about missing class time for conference and NCAA Tournament games as schools take teams on the road for much of the month of March.

What I glean from this rule change is that making a bad career decision is fine, just do it quickly so that a school knows whether or not they need to recruit your replacement.

Anyways, for a wonderful opinion piece on this topic, read the article that fellow advocate for student-athletes Marc Isenberg has posted on his Money Player blog here.