State To Apply For Bost Reinstatement

The twisted tale of Dee Bost's basketball career may be taking another unexpected turn. Or, maybe not, depending on how the NCAA responds to the first challenge to the new-for-2010 rule regarding early entry and then withdrawal from the National Basketball Association draft.

Compliance director Bracky Brett confirmed Thursday afternoon that Mississippi State will be filing a request for Bost to be regain college eligibility after he failed to meet the May 8 date for leaving this year's NBA draft. "A university has to do that on behalf of a student-athlete," said Brett.

"Basically, he missed the deadline to withdraw, which makes him ineligible. "So we'll have to ask for him to be reinstated."

Bost, the sophomore point guard for the Bulldogs, was a surprising early-entry for the 2010 draft after just two years in college. Good years to be sure, but nothing to offer any reason for thinking he would be an attractive draft proposition for a NBA squad. Junior teammate and wing-guard Ravern Johnson also tossed his name into the early-entry pool only to withdraw by the May 8 deadline. Bost, against all expectations, did not.

Now he wants out of that list and back in the college game. In doing so he and Mississippi State are making a sort of NCAA history. "Basically this is all brand-new," Brett said.

The May 8 date itself was new in the sense that early-entry candidates had just a couple of weeks for second thoughts instead of over a month as in the past. This also limited time and opportunities for such players, like Bost, to participate in approved tryouts for pro scouts and thus offered fewer professional opinions available for making a stay-or-withdraw call before the new deadline. This appears to be the grounds on which Bost intends to stake his case for a do-over.

How strong that case could be depends on how strongly the NCAA feels about the brand-new deadline period. Brett pointed out that this is only a request from Mississippi State for reinstatement; an actual appeal would only be made if Bost is denied, and then go to a standing NCAA committee. Either way it is unfamiliar ground for everyone involved.

"Because it deals with a brand-new by-law, there can be no precedent to this specific by-law," Brett agreed. The only apparent precedent the NCAA might could refer to would involve circumstances of why Bost did not withdraw by the date, though ignorance of the rule almost certainly cannot be claimed. Bost was well-informed by Mississippi State staff of the May 8 deadline and procedure; and there were plenty of references to the deadline in national media as well.

For now, Bost has signaled his seriousness about trying to get back in a college uniform by returning to college classes. He is enrolled for the June semester, on athletic scholarship. "Missing the deadline means he's ineligible (to play)," Brett explained. "It doesn't mean he's not an amateur still. He may still meet all the amateurism guidelines. He just violated a by-law which made him ineligible."

And now it is up to the NCAA to decide if, under this by-law only just instituted for 2010, there is also an opportunity to get around it.

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