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CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Five for the Weekend: Draft deadline move doesn't help kids

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The NCAA has a new rule concerning the NBA Draft.

It's a rule rooted in selfishness.

I'll explain in Five for the Weekend.

1. How disappointed are you that there will be no more "testing the waters" for underclassmen?

The new withdrawal date is good for Roy Williams and other coaches as they'll have more time to plan their rosters. (Getty Images)  
The new withdrawal date is good for Roy Williams and other coaches as they'll have more time to plan their rosters. (Getty Images)  
I'm not personally disappointed at all because, as I wrote a few weeks ago, moving the deadline to enter the NBA Draft up to mid-April is actually a good thing for me because it shortens the time I have to think about who's in and who's out. So for purely selfish reasons, I'm pumped. But as I also wrote a few weeks ago, the rule change is an obviously crummy deal for student-athletes, and the ACC coaches who proposed it should never again be allowed to say they're in this to help young people because the rule adopted Thursday by the NCAA Board of Directors doesn't help young people in any way. It instead prevents -- or at least greatly limits -- young people from getting real and honest information about their draft status. The only beneficiaries are college coaches who will now have a good idea of how next season's roster will look before the late signing period begins.

In other words, it's a bad deal for underclassmen but ideal for the selfish coaches who proposed it.

So that's why it was proposed.

And adopted.

2. Sixty-nine underclassmen declared for the NBA Draft. Do they know there are only 60 spots and 30 guaranteed contracts?

I'm assuming they do, yes. But that number -- and it's a similar number every year -- never really bothers me because some of the 69 are merely taking advantage of a soon-to-be-gone system that allows underclassmen to enter the draft once and return to school without penalty as long as they maintain their amateur status, and some others declared even though they know they won't be selected because they've already decided, for a variety of reasons, that they're not returning to school regardless.

Are many of the 69 making mistakes?

Of course.

But college kids make mistakes in this country every year. Some leave school early to wait tables, to start a band, to take a full-time job leading nowhere or even to follow Widespread Panic, and that's just sort of how it goes. Most of us don't stress about the millions of college dropouts who make those questionable decisions unless they're our children, and so I've never really understood why people stress about the handful of basketball players who make similarly questionable decisions.

3. Isn't it because those people want those players on their favorite college basketball teams?

Absolutely -- and if everybody would acknowledge that, it would be fine. The only thing that bothers me is when people try to act like they care because they "care about these kids' futures" in some way that makes no sense. The truth is that most college basketball fans care about their favorite teams and how they might be affected by underclassmen returning to or withdrawing from school. Everything else is secondary, as it should be, and almost everybody suggesting otherwise is lying to themselves.

4. How funny is it that an NAIA player declared for the NBA Draft?

It was funny the first time somebody did it, and I remember laughing when I heard about it. But now it's been done so often that it's just as cliche as quoting Charlie Sheen, so I don't pay it much attention anymore. Once you've seen one short suburban white dude declare for the draft to get his name on a website, you've seen all short suburban white dudes declare for the draft to get their names on websites. At this point, who cares?

5. And with that, are you now on vacation?

Yes.

I'm going to take next week off and recharge a bit.

I'll return May 9 -- the day after the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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