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NCAA’s new ridiculous withdrawal deadline is official

Apr 29, 2011, 7:45 AM EDT

Uncertain about the NBA draft? Too bad. Starting next year, underclassmen have a matter of days to decide if they want to enter the NBA draft.

The NCAA’s board of directors took no action on proposal 2010-24, which moves the final day for underclassmen to declare for the draft to the day before the spring National Letter of Intent signing period. This year, that was April 12, barely a week after the national title.

Yeah, that’s plenty of time to decide on one’s future.

“I don’t know how it can necessarily help a player. It definitely helps the coaches,” Butler senior Matt Howard told the AP. “It’s hard for somebody like Coach (Brad) Stevens to have to go out now and recruit a combo guard like Shelvin. But for players, I just don’t see how this helps them.”

It doesn’t. It helps the coaches, who want to know if they need to replace any players who want to leave early. It also helps them set up tee times for April.

It’s ridiculous and unfair to the players. Offer the players guidance and expertise when it comes to making a crucial decision. Isn’t that what colleges are supposed to do?

The rule could be overridden, but that would just reinforce how often the NCAA insists on changing the thing. Those moves may be the only thing more ridiculous than the rule itself. Here’s a rundown from Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News:

College basketball’s approach to the NBA Draft has been, for nearly two decades, an embarrassment of regulation and re-regulation. The rules have changed more often than Madonna switches outfits during a two-hour concert. If the educated men and women who run the organization stopped for a moment to notice how frequently they’ve shifted their stance on how collegians cope with the NBA Draft, they would have to be embarrassed at their indecision.

In the mid-1990s, it was possible to enter the draft, be selected and still return to college basketball. Minnesota guard Voshon Lenard did just that. Later, the colleges allowed a player to enter the draft and return to college so long as he wasn’t selected, which is how center Randolph Morris wound up spending an extra year at Kentucky.

When players went through the draft process during the early part of the 2000s, they were forced to keep receipts for every ice cream cone to assure they hadn’t accepted any money from NBA teams. Then the rules changed to allow teams to pay for players’ expenses to attend workouts.

Get it together NCAA. Is that too much to ask?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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