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SBD/April 14, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Several Players Opting Not To Declare For NBA Draft With '11-12 Season Uncertain
Published April 14, 2011
CAMPUS SECURITY: ESPN's Chad Ford said some players have returned to college because "one of the fears was that there was going to be a lockout that was going to last the entire season." Ford: "For a player who needs to get better in a lot of fundamentally different ways, going back to college seems a little more enticing if you think you're going to be sitting out the season. I do think there's that fear." But he added, "For those high picks, it's a bit of an irrational fear. Their agents are going to give them plenty of money via loans and endorsements and other things to last them." Ford said it is "shaping up to be" a lackluster draft class this year. He added, "If the league gets what they want, which is a new draft age rule that restricts college players from declaring until they've been two years in college, and that's what they would like to get at the next collective bargaining agreement, the 2012 Draft could be devastating as well" ("The Scott Van Pelt Show," ESPN2, 4/12). UCLA coach Ben Howland said, "I feel bad because I think it's a really tough time for these kids to be coming out. From the standpoint of the lockout looming -- how that affects the draft, how that affects your ability to position yourself for a team you're drafted by."
FEARING THE WORST: The NBA has denied a report that the Las Vegas Summer League, scheduled for early July, has already been canceled due to a possible lockout, but ESPN's Bomani Jones said he is "more afraid than ever that we won't have an NBA season" next year. Jones: "While people talk about the NFL being greedy, the NBA has a chance to really catapult itself into the sports landscape and they might throw it all away because they want to kill the union." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said NBA fans "need to realize that this lockout and that situation is going to be serious" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 4/13).