Men’s basketball coaches could soon work with their student-athletes as they face early entry draft decisions if NCAA members approve a proposal that passed its initial steps through the legislative process this week.
During its meeting Monday and Tuesday in Indianapolis, the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee amended its proposal regarding college athletes who are invited to participate in the NBA Draft Combine, modifying it to allow college coaches 20 hours a week to work out their players.
The Division I Council accepted the modification of the proposal, and it will be sponsored in the 2015-16 legislative process. The proposal could be voted on by the Division I Council as early as January.
The committee felt that allowing a coach additional access for the workouts would support the player’s decision-making on whether to declare for the NBA draft. By working out on campus, the coach would be able to provide firsthand advice and the student-athlete can remain enrolled in classes should he decide to continue his collegiate career.
The committee retained in its proposal the date by which a student-athlete must request his name be removed from the NBA draft list, revising it to 10 days after the conclusion of the NBA combine. The 2016 combine will be held May 10-15.
The proposal also would allow students to enter the NBA draft multiple times without jeopardizing their eligibility and permit college athletes to participate in the combine and one tryout per NBA team, per year.
The NBA invites a finite number of draft-eligible players to the combine each year, providing a good indicator of an underclassman’s draft potential. Following the combine, the NBA will provide specific feedback.
Under the proposed changes, the committee felt underclassmen and their families would be provided with realistic and unbiased information with which they could make their decisions about whether to stay in the draft or withdraw and return to school.
“We want our student-athletes to maintain their relationships with their coaches,” said Dan Guerrero, the chair of the Division I Men’s Oversight Committee and director of athletics at the University of California, Los Angeles. “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. Oftentimes, those students blow off school in pursuit of the endeavor. This gives them the opportunity to train and prepare adequately on campus for the combine.”
The oversight committee also reviewed the structure of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee in terms of the number of members on the committee – it currently consists of 10 – as well as geographical and sub-divisional representation.
“We felt with the formation of the oversight committee that this is the right time to look at the existing structure and see if it is still valid,” said Guerrero, who is a former chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. “We haven’t made any definitive conclusions at this time, but we’ve vetted out some of the issues and agreed to look at it further.”