Mark Emmert open to allowing NBA D-League players back to NCAA

Wednesday December 10th, 2014

NCAA president Mark Emmert told CBS Sports that he is open to considering allowing players who are drafted and go to the NBA D-League to return to play in college. 

Currently, once a player declares for the NBA draft and the league's draft deadline has passed, he loses his amateur status. 

"I'm open to consider that," Emmert said when asked if he'd be OK with players returning. "But again, that's me and not the members. I'm sure coaches would have their concerns about that and I understand why. You wouldn't want it to be a revolving door that one year I'm here, the next year I'm in the D-League. You'd have to structure it."

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Emmert said the relationship between the NCAA and professional sports leagues should be looked at and that college basketball players should be able to "get a much better sense of the marketplace."

Right now, the only way they can really get a clear picture of the marketplace is declare for the draft and step away," he said. "Most of our rules say now you're done. Go over there, you're finished. Is there a way for those who aren't going to play in NBA to learn from somebody in the outside world who says, look, you're not going to play professional ball?"

Last month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that he would like to increase the league's minimum age to 20. He said he believes it "would be better for basketball in general" and would lead to a better quality of play in the NBA.  

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Emmerts said he's talked to Silver about this and that there's a "deep interest" among NCAA schools that they want to "make sure we're doing the best by young men and women who play games, and not have a young man, a boy, feel the necessity to go to college to touch a base to jump to a professional sports league and not take their education seriously."


- Molly Geary

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