Thursday, March 22, 2012

When Lamb, Drummond Need to Decide By

I've seen it written recently that players like Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond, underclassmen who may be considering entering this year's NBA draft, have until April 29 to make up their minds. That's not exactly true.

According to, players may enter their names in the draft once during their college career without jeopardizing their eligibility ... as long as they pull their name out by the first day of the NCAA's spring signing period. This year, that's April 11, so players must pull their names out by no later than April 10 if they  want to keep playing in college.

Here's how words it (I'm assuming they simply made a mistake by calling it the "first day of the National Basketball Association's spring signing period." But then, no one ever accused the NCAA of being perfect, right?):

Current student-athletes may contact a professional sports organization to discuss eligibility in a professional-league player draft or to request information about professional market value without affecting their amateur status.

A current student-athlete loses amateur status in a particular sport by asking to be placed on the draft list or supplemental draft list of a professional league in that sport. Amateur status is lost even if the athlete’s name is withdrawn from the draft list before the actual draft, the athlete is not drafted, or the athlete is drafted but does not sign an agreement with a professional team.

Basketball student-athletes may enter a professional league’s draft once during their college career without jeopardizing their eligibility as long as they are not drafted by a professional team and as long as they declare their intention to resume playing for their college team before the first day of the National Basketball Association’s spring signing period, typically in mid-April.

A student-athlete, his or her parents or the university’s professional sports counseling panel may negotiate with a professional sports organization without the loss of the student-athlete’s amateur status. However, a student-athlete who retains an agent will lose amateur status.

The NCAA is reviewing its current agent and advisor legislation to ensure that student-athletes have the best information at the right time to make informed decisions. The NCAA is not likely to change its opposition to student-athletes receiving benefits from agents and advisors but will discuss how advisors might help provide information to student-athletes who are weighing their professional options.

Given that UConn won't likely know whether it is 2013 NCAA tournament eligible until about April 25, and quite possibly not until a couple of months after that, Lamb and Drummond will almost certainly have to make their respective decisions before they know the team's tourney fate.

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