|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
|Ohio State's Thad Matta is among the coaches confused by the NCAA's early entry dates.|
Of 21 coaches polled from around the country Wednesday, every one of them wanted one date for the NBA early-entry draft deadline instead of the two that are currently in place. The consensus was to simply do away with the arbitrary one-week-after-the-Final Four date the NCAA has had on the books since 2009 (that meant April 16 this year).
At the time [of the rule's creation], Paul Hewitt (now at George Mason) was the coach at Georgia Tech, and his Yellow Jackets were losing players early to the draft at a high rate.
"The rule worked, but it wasn't perfect," Hewitt said. "One of the things that convinced us to vote for it was the deadline would be before the late-signing period began. It gave us a chance to add a player to the roster and in turn help the upperclassmen who are coming back and the coaches to have a stronger team and a better experience. That was the main reason a couple of coaches switched the vote, like myself. The rule did give some coaches clarity as to who was leaving and allow them to go and sign a player to add to the roster. The returning players and coaches deserved that opportunity."
Most coaches polled, though, said the one thing adopted in 2009 that probably can stay is the rule that if you officially declare for the draft, you cannot return to school.