Looking Before You Leap: Dee Bost Could Learn the Hard Way

When embarking on a decision that could cost you millions of dollars, it behooves you to know the parameters of said decision.
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↵Mississippi State guard Dee Bost entered his name in the NBA draft this season and failed to withdraw his name by the May 8 deadline that would allow him to return to school next season and play with the Bulldogs. But then he decided to re-enroll at Mississippi State and get in for the summer term. Now Bost plans to ask the NCAA for reinstatement. Was this a matter of Bost blatantly ignoring the revised rule that moved the early entry withdrawal date up significantly? Apparently not, according to ESPN: ↵

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↵⇥His case is that he assumed -- clearly a wrong assumption -- that the old rule (that a player could through the draft process and go back to college if he didn't sign with an agent) still was in existence. ↵⇥

↵⇥But the NCAA scrapped that old date in a pretty public manner and the NBA did acknowledge it May 11 with a list of players who withdrew from the draft and who remained in consideration. Somehow Bost's teammate and classmate Ravern Johnson got the message and withdrew in time for the May 8 deadline. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Bost's defense -- and Mississippi State is supporting his appeal but isn't overly confident -- is that he didn't know the rule and he made his decision within 12 hours after the deadline passed. ↵⇥

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↵This is bad for everyone involved, from the NCAA, to Mississippi State to Bost himself. ↵

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↵Before we pick on Bost or Mississippi State, the rule is horrible. We're talking about just over a week between when NBA teams can begin workouts (April 29) and when players must decide to pull out if they'd like to return to school the following season (May 8). With numerous teams just finishing the season and many teams active in the NBA playoffs, the ability to hold workouts is compromised. Little meaningful research can be completed in such a short frame of time, which leaves players with a very loose grip on their personal draft reality. The amount of time needs to be increased once again. Coaches can wait a few weeks to get on the golf course. Give back some of the power to the players. ↵

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↵Having said that, Bost can't really expect us to believe this, right? You mean to tell me that someone who harbors notions that they will one day play professional basketball didn't know the multi-million dollar gamble they were making when they entered the draft, let alone failed to withdraw from said draft? This is particularly weak given that, as Andy Katz points out, Bost's own teammate managed to figure it out. Oh, and he texted the Clarion-Ledger to say he was "staying in" the draft on May 8 and was also discussing overseas options. It certainly looks like he tried to play out this string as long as possible but might've run himself out of options. ↵

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↵In the unlikely event Bost didn't know, how bad would Mississippi State look? Because I still have a hard time believing Bost didn't know, I'm not sure this is an issue. But if Bost really didn't know, it would be a colossal failure on the part of the coaching and support staff at Mississippi State. (Having said that, they seem pretty in the clear given that Ravern Johnson was obviously informed on the subject.) ↵

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↵Bost still retains the option to pull his name out of the draft by June 14 to head overseas. Overseas or the D-League feel more likely than a return to Starkville given his somewhat flimsy appeal. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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