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NCAA Approves Changes to Championship Games and NBA Draft Entry

The NCAA Convention provided us with some changes yesterday- one we expected, and another that we didn't see coming.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Convention usually means some changes in rules and policies which impact college athletics, and yesterday was no different. As expected the NCAA approved a proposal to amend the requirements for FBS conferences to hold football conference championship games.  This amendment seems to open the door for the Big 12 to hold a conference title game without expanding to 12 teams. It doesn't meet the flexibility that the ACC was seeking, so Syracuse Orange fans shouldn't look for any re-alignment in the near future. It's also the reason why the ACC was one of two conferences to vote against the proposal

The move might make it financially advantageous for the Big 12 to stay at 10 teams and add a conference title game, but there will be plenty of debate as to the competitive advantage of such a move. Since the league announced that all schools will be required to play a P5 opponent out-of-conference, adding another game can put the league's best team in jeopardy of dropping out of the College Football Playoff, especially since they will be playing a team for the 2nd time. (As pointed out by King Otto yesterday, that makes 11 out of 13 games against P5 opponents)

The somewhat surprising news from yesterday were the changes to the early-entry process for players declaring for the NBA Draft, beginning this year. Athletes who declare for the NBA Draft as underclassmen can now attend the NBA Combine, and will have 10 days after the Combine to remove their name from the Draft. Athletes can also enter the NBA Draft multiple times, and are allowed to attend the Combine and 1 NBA Team Workout each year, without impacting eligibility (provided that they do not sign with an agent).

This revised process should allow early-entry players a better opportunity for realistic feedback from NBA teams, and will give them more time to make a decision on their future. Please note that this doesn't mean everyone is going to make the choice you want them to make, and honestly any player who gets a 1st rd grade is probably still going to leave, but players will be better informed in the process. The extended date should also provide a boost to the academics for MBB as the athlete will need to complete academic requirements to maintain eligibility for a possible return to their school.

As much as we, ok maybe I, like to give the NCAA a tough time for some of the puzzling decisions made, these two changes are good for those who deserve to be helped, the college athletes.