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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Coaches push NBA to follow NFL draft model

INDIANAPOLIS — College basketball coaches are hoping NBA officials will move up the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft and then give them just 72 hours to withdraw.

The proposal being urged by the National Association of Basketball Coaches would give players until one week after the national championship game to make a decision. They would then have three days to withdraw.

Current rules give players until mid-May to declare for the draft. They can then withdraw their name up until one week before the draft, typically held in late June, and players who weren't drafted and did not sign or receive benefits from an agent can re-enroll in school within 30 days.

Jim Haney, executive director of the NABC, said coaches showed strong support for the proposed change at a meeting this week in Indianapolis.

``The thinking is that you have a pretty good sense of where you're going to go before that 72 hours,'' Haney said. ``It's really intended to protect a guy who was talked into it by whoever. It's kind of like buying a house, you have a certain time to change your mind.''

Coaches have been discussing the proposal informally for several years, Haney said. An NCAA spokesman said college sports' governing body would not have to approve the change if it was contained in the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players' union.

The coaches' association wants the NBA to approve a similar model to that used by college football and the NFL, in which players must declare their intentions by mid-January, just a couple weeks after the bowl season ends, and then must decide quickly whether to withdraw.

But the reaction among coaches appeared mixed.

``I'm trying to think of what's best for the players and if you move it up, it might make more players decide to go early,'' Maryland's Gary Williams said. ``So I'm not sure it will help the situation. But I think it's a good idea.''

Haney said one reason for endorsing the change would be academics. He argued that under the current system, players spend the spring semester traveling to tryouts and camps to evaluate where they may go. That costs them class time and could leave them academically ineligible if they decide to return to school.

But Haney acknowledged that coaches would also have an advantage in the spring signing period if players make their decisions in April.

``From a college perspective, it allows those kids to make a decision and then go on with their academics,'' Haney said. ``It also allows the coach to make some decisions about whether you need to recruit or not.''

Haney said the coaches discussed two other issues at the meeting: the NCAA's new annual academic progress report, which measures academic success each quarter or semester, and the new college basketball partnership, which will address challenges and opportunities facing the sport.

No votes were taken.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:26 PM


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