College underclassmen who declare for the NBA draft would be able to return to school if a proposal by the NCAA men’s basketball oversight committee gets adopted.
The new proposal by the committee Wednesday in Indianapolis would need to be adopted by the NCAA membership in January.
Committee chair Dan Guerrero, who is also the UCLA athletic director, told ESPN that if the proposal is implemented, it would be in place for the 2016 draft.
The proposal to allow underclassmen an opportunity to return to school is a coordinated effort by the NCAA, the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the NBA.
If adopted, underclassmen may attend the Chicago pre-draft combine in May, get evaluated by team personnel and then be able to decide if they wanted to stay in the draft or return to school.
The underclassmen, however, couldn’t sign with an agent.
With the current draft rules, underclassmen can’t return to college once the player officially declares for the NBA draft.
The NBA still would have an early-entry deadline of late April and an official withdrawal date of 10 days before the draft, as per the collective bargaining agreement.
Under the new proposal, the NCAA would have its own withdrawal date moved up from the week after the Final Four to sometime in mid to late May, according to ESPN.
“This is a positive development for student-athletes exploring their professional dreams,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball. “This would give prospects and their families more appropriate time and unbiased info from the NBA to make important decisions. And it would probably lead some to go back to school.”