Major League Lacrosse will be holding their 2011 draft on January 21 this year at ESPNZone in Baltimore. That's right. Before the college seniors get into their final season. Players won't be invited to attend or participate in the draft, per NCAA regulations, but they can attend if they want. MLL Commissioner David Gross hopes that the earlier draft date will create a buzz about the MLL throughout the college lacrosse season.
One of the reasons driving this change is that players whose teams are not going deep into the postseason tournament can now start playing professionally immediately following the final regular season game.
“If a player's team is done with the tournament, that player shouldn't have to wait a few more weeks,” Gross said in an InsideLacrosse article.
I'm not convinced this is a great idea for MLL, whose teams must evaluate players before they truly peak their senior season. I also wonder whether players who know they are being drafted to one of the better lacrosse teams are going to forgo their senior season in order to start getting paid better. With little incentive to compete their senior season, is the competitiveness found in NCAA lacrosse be at stake here?