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    'Draft dodger' rule, other contentious PBA by-laws now under review

    May 23, 2021

    THE PBA is rethinking the much-maligned 'draft-dodger' rule.

    Let's hope it does the right thing.

    The controversial rule that threatens a ban on 'draft dodgers' is among a raft of provisions in the PBA by-laws being reviewed by a study group created by the league board, raising hope that it will be changed or altogether repealed.

    The rule, implemented by the league in 2018 as Bobby Ray Parks dilly-dallied on entering the PBA draft, zeroed in on players who skipped the draft two straight years after graduating from college, or two years since reaching the league's minimum age requirement of 22.


      Under the rule, eligible rookie prospects from the coubtry's major collegiate leagues must inform the league about their decision, lest they risk being banned from joining the draft in the future.

      The provision was drafted and approved by the board amid growing suspicion from league officials and representatives of the 12 PBA teams that some top rookie prospects skip the draft if they do not like the ballclub that will likely draft them.

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      However, the league started to experience a backlash as early as last year when it became apparent the rule ended up alienating Thirdy Ravena, Kai Sotto, Kobe Paras and other players who aspired to take their act overseas.

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      [See COMMENTARY: The PBA needs to revisit rule that bans 'draft dodgers']

      The criticism grew louder this year when Ravena ended up in the same quandary after signing a multi-year extension with his San-En NeoPhoenix ballblud in the Japan B.League.

      As the anger simmers, the league has a chance to right a wrong.

      A study group led by vice-chairman Bobby Rosales has been created precisely to review certain provisions in the PBA by-laws that either became counter-productive or have become so outdated these urgently needed updating.

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      League insiders confirmed the 'draft dodger' rule is one of the 'contentious' provisions in the PBA by-laws that are being reviewed by the study group.

      Asked about the other rules under review, an official declined to reveal the list, saying the process is being done discreetly. He said all recommendations will be forwarded to the league board for approval.

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