NBA entrants to get earlier opt-out date

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA wants more time to debate the future of summer basketball.

Those same players may not get the same luxury when it comes to the NBA draft.

The Legislative Committee tabled the first proposal but approved a measure that would force basketball players to withdraw from the draft before the first day of the spring period.

Both proposals were part of a busy two-day meeting this week. The key decisions were released Wednesday on the governing body's website.

Players currently have until early May to withdraw from the draft. That would change as early as next fall if the Board of Directors doesn't reject the proposal later this month.

Committee chairman Shane Lyons was out of the office and unavailable for comment, NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said Wednesday.

The committee also tabled two major proposals, one of which would have changed the rules regarding the use of athletes' likenesses for commercial purposes. The other would have given coaches more access to basketball players who take summer courses.

But the council did make some changes.

The committee approved a measure that would force men's basketball players to remove their names from the draft list before the first day of the spring signing period.

The council also rejected a proposal that would have stopped athletes from opting out of a test for the sickle-cell genetic trait. The decision means players still have three options: Taking the test, providing documentation that they have taken the test or signing a waiver to opt out.

And football players now will be required to earn nine semester hours, or eight quarter hours, during the fall to be eligible for the next season.

Those players failing to meet the requirement could miss up to four games starting in 2012.

If a player earns 27 semester hours -- or 40 on a quarterly system -- during the school year, they could reduce the penalty to two games once during their college career.

But the biggest issues on this week's agenda were put on hold.

The basketball proposal would require schools to determine which men's players should take summer courses. Those who need the classwork would be required to take at least six hours and pass three during the summer, and coaches would have some access to those players for skill development.

Committee members, the release said, decided to wait until another NCAA committee can assess the potential benefits or pitfalls of the decision and are expected to discuss it as part of a bigger package of summer basketball recruiting reforms.

The Legislative Council also rejected three possible changes and tabled a fourth regarding the use of athletes' likenesses. The one that was tabled would allow athletes to participate in promotional activities for the school, charitable, educational or nonprofit organizations -- with certain conditions.

The athlete and the school would both have to agree to the promotion.

Both of the tabled proposals are expected to be discussed later this year.

In addition, the committee added two graduate assistants to teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Teams are currently allowed two grad assistants.