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New NBA Draft rules provide college players with flexibility

College basketball recently made a monumental change to its foundation, and it comes in the form of an adjustment in which the “One and Done” rule may finally be terminated. Since the adoption of the “One and Done” in 2006, no high school players have been able to make the leap from senior year of high school to the NBA. Now, the NCAA has proposed a change in which high school players can forgo the college experience depending on how elite they are. In this situation, if a player believes that he can go straight to the professional level, he must try out in front of USA Basketball, where he will be identified by scouts to determine if he is talented enough. If a player is seen to have NBA-caliber talent, the senior can decide to sign an agent the summer before his last season. Although the NCAA has made the effort to change, the move has caused controversy with USA Basketball, who according to ESPN, was “blindsided” by the NCAA’s rule change. In terms of analyzing the skill of the athlete, USA Basketball “doesn’t have desire or infrastructure for those evaluations.” Essentially, the NCAA is creating a new rule for its prospective players, but making sure that it will not be held accountable in any way for a decision that an ‘NBA ready’ high school player may make. It is an irresponsible move on the NCAA’s part to let another organization deem how talented a player is, when in fact it is uncertain of how his talent level would even translate to the collegiate level. The NCAA, not USA Basketball, should make the decision to see if a player is good enough to surpass its level. Even though the move has made USA Basketball scramble and has unrightfully made them the decider of a high school player’s talent, it is a respectable move on the part of the NCAA to give more flexibility to players who may not need one year of college to enhance their skills. If a player is ready, he should be able to make the decision he feels is right for him. Giving players the chance to do this shows that the NCAA, as an organization, is turning a corner and is looking out for the best interest of all basketball players. Other changes the NCAA made relating to the draft include, allowing players who enter the draft and go undrafted to return to school. The decision is a huge game changer for schools, who can now feel more comfortable about a star player gauging pro interest. The new rules give players much more flexibility to make informed decisions. If a player feels he is good enough to go pro, he can. If a player wants to enter the draft but goes undrafted, he can return to school without penalty. All in all, the rules are a win for players in every way. Robert Fallo is a Sports Management and Journalism major from Scotch Plains, NJ. He can be reached at or on Twitter @robert_fallo.


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