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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
NBA modifies "four-year rule" for hardship
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

June 24, 1971

Stung by the American Basketball Association's tactics of early signings of top college stars and after a court rules in favor of college dropout Spencer Haywood, the National Basketball Association modifies its so-called "four-year rule." It permits college players who are hardship cases to join the league.

Under the revised rule, a player who has not completed his college education may request permission to join an NBA team. The player must prove he is a hardship case based on what NBA Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy calls "financial condition, his family, his academic record, or lack of it, and his ability to obtain employment in another field."

Under the long-standing NBA rule, a player could not be signed or drafted until the player's college class had graduated.

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