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NCAA pushes back NBA Draft decision date, makes other changes

The NCAA draft decision date is May 25th, 10 days after the NBA Combine.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA implemented new rules relating to the NBA Draft, as they pushed back the decision date for men's basketball players to either enter the draft or return to school.

"The cooperation between the NCAA, NBA and NABC was vital to the success of this idea. We reached an excellent outcome that will undoubtedly benefit every group involved, most importantly the student-athlete," Dan Guerrero, chair of the Men's Basketball Oversight Committee and athletics director at UCLA, said. "We all worked toward the same goal - providing students and their families with the opportunity to assess their future professional sports prospects in a realistic timeline."

Student-athletes are now able to declare for the draft on multiple occasions while also having the option to return to school without giving up their eligibility. The players also have the go-ahead to attend the NBA Combine and have one NBA team tryout per season to get a feel for their draft stock.

"The rule is a good idea because it provides men's basketball student-athletes the opportunity to test their dream of going beyond the stage of amateurism into the professional level without completely sacrificing their collegiate career, should they find they are not as prepared as they had hoped for the next level," said Cody McDavis, a member of the Division I Men's Basketball Oversight Committee.

The new rules will be in effect this year as the deadline date will come on May 25th, 10 days after the Combine, which is set to be held on May 11-15 in Chicago.

The changes will likely not have any effect on the lottery prospects, but it could have a major impact on borderline first and second round selections who now have a chance to make an impression on NBA scouts during the on-court drills and interview process. Between the spring signing period and the opportunity for their top players to flip-flop on their draft decision, college coaches will face a difficult adjustment period with their roster and scholarships in constant flux.

Under the current rules, college athletes are allowed to declare for the draft only once while maintaining their eligibility. Also, the deadline date was before the Combine.