I’ve had multiple people ask me what ‘reclassifying’ means when it comes to guys like Bagley, Jontay Porter and most recently Aundre Hyatt – who just announced he would reclassify and join LSU in the class of 2018.
What it means is they are essentially skipping their senior year of high school to play college ball. This has to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse. The main thing here is this rule:
A prospective student-athlete must complete his or her core-curriculum requirements not later than the high school graduation date of the prospective student-athlete’s class [as determined by the first year of enrollment in high school (ninth grade) or the international equivalent…]. Graduation from high school or secondary school shall be based on the prospective student-athlete’s prescribed educational path in his or her country.
Essentially what that means is you have to finish the NCAA’s 16 core-classes before you’re eligible to play. There are a lot of nuanced little rules within this, but it’s the main stuff going on here. Once the Clearinghouse looks at everything you are cleared and can play. That’s the simplistic version of it.
The other question I get about reclassifying is, is it happening more now? Yes, yes we are.
We are hearing more about it now simply because everyone is getting smarter. What I mean by that are players, families, representatives – let’s not kid ourselves, these guys are around reps throughout high school – are realizing the goal. The goal is to get eligible for the draft as quick as possible. When you get there, you know the goal is to get to the second contract as quick as possible. Yes, getting the second contract at 23 is way more important than 25.
Age does play a role here obviously. A player could be held back before high school for various reasons and if they blow up a bit more, you’re trying to reclassify as quick as possible. There are a lot of variables involved and it changes with each person, but ultimately the goal is to get to the NBA Draft as quick as possible. That’s the game.