It is no secret to everybody the NFL and NBA have a pretty sweet farm system with very little maintenance required. It’s called college sports. For years the NCAA and NBA have approached the NBA Draft process from different angles, and the NCAA and NFL have had some issues as well, but now the NCAA is looking to possibly change the way the NBA Draft process operates by allowing for more flexibility for college basketball players.
With the annual NCAA convention this week, new rules or adjustments to existing rules will be discussed, reviewed and perhaps even voted on. One proposal being brought to the NCAA masses by the Division 1 Council would move back the due date to declare for the NBA Draft. As the rule stands right now, players hoping to be drafted by an NBA team must declare their intent to go pro the day before the first day of the spring national signing day. The new proposed date would push that deadline back to 10 days after the NBA combine.
That is a fantastic idea, and it is one that should pass and then be considered to be picked up on the football side of things.
The benefits of this proposal are pretty simple. Players not already guaranteed to be among the top draft picks in the NBA Draft can go and work out in an NBA setting and get NBA feedback from those who know and work with NBA talent on a regular basis. Then players can use that information and experience to make a more informed decision on their future, rather than run the risk of losing college eligibility, not be drafted and have to work things out in the NBA developmental league. Instead, they can have the option of staying in school, furthering their education and continuing to develop and become a stronger draft candidate the next year.
The NFL Draft process as currently mapped out may not allow for the same kind of flexibility, but if the NCAA and NFL can come together to make a couple of minor adjustments, a similar policy could be put in place. The idea of regionalized combines for those contemplating moving on to the NFL has been discussed by some in the past, but the idea has not gained much traction by those who can make it happen. If an earlier combine could be made available for college football players to go through a similar experience the proposed rule would have for basketball players, it may sway a number of underclassmen from declaring early when they stand little chance of being drafted.
If the proposal is passed and receives praise in the basketball world, the push to allow similar flexibility for football players should gain momentum.