NCAA pushes back date for college players to withdraw from NBA draft

The date for college basketball players to withdraw their names from the NBA draft and return to school will be pushed back. 

The date for college players to withdraw from the draft and retain their college eligibility was originally June 3, but the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic have thrown a massive wrench into the usual pre-draft process. A new deadline date will be determined at a later date.

The news, which was announced by NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt, comes on the heels of the NBA’s decision to postpone the NBA draft combine. The original withdrawal date was set for 10 days after the combine was scheduled to conclude. Without a combine, prospective draft picks will not have the chance to be sufficiently evaluated by NBA teams. 

“This modification is being made with the health and well-being of our student-athletes in mind, along with their ability to make the most informed decisions during this uncertain time, and is based on the recent announcement by the NBA to postpone the 2020 NBA draft combine,” Gavitt said. 

Jaylen Hoard participates during the second day of the NBA draft basketball combine in Chicago, Friday, May 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Gavitt said the NCAA will establish a new withdrawal date “once the [NBA] has determined a timeline for the 2020 pre-draft process.”

“Working in collaboration with National Association of Basketball Coaches executive director Jim Haney and the rest of the coaches’ leadership, the NCAA membership will ensure that any change supports a player’s decision-making process related to professional opportunities while also protecting their academic pursuits and the opportunity to play college basketball,” Gavitt said. 

NCAA rules allow underclassmen to enter their name into the draft pool in order to receive feedback from NBA teams. Teams have been able to interview prospects virtually, but the usual in-person workouts have been unable to take place due to the coronavirus. If the feedback players receive indicates that they will not be selected in a favorable portion of the NBA draft (or at all), many opt to return to school. 

This year, there were 163 college players on the NBA’s list of early entry candidates. The NBA draft is currently scheduled for June 25.

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 but could be inching toward a return. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Tuesday that some of the league’s biggest superstars “formed a united front” to resume the season during a conference call on Monday.

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