Making sense of draft process 

April, 23, 2009
4/23/09
10:47
AM ET
I have never been a big fan of the "test the waters" rule that the NCAA set forth several years ago in which college underclassmen can declare for the NBA draft but retain their eligibility by not hiring an agent. It's not because I'm against young players pursuing their dreams of playing in the NBA, but because I want those young players to face reality about whether they are truly ready to play at the next level. To me, the "test the waters" rule never made sense and is incongruous with the way that the NCAA usually acts.

There is no reason to give players any chance to come back to school after declaring for the draft. Once a player officially declares his intention to become a professional and puts his name in the draft, he should be seen as having renounced his college eligibility. Period.

The reasons for underclassmen declaring for the draft have evolved over time and are now meaningless. In the rule's infancy, players wanted to make certain they were lottery picks. Then they wanted to see if they were first-round picks. Eventually, just confirmation of being drafted at all was good enough to leave school early and stay in the draft, especially since Gilbert Arenas and Carlos Boozer were selected in the second round and wound up making more money that way.