Sign points to Michigan's Jordan Poole staying in NBA draft
A week ago, Michigan sophomore guard Jordan Poole said he wasn't in a rush to decide whether he’d stay in the NBA draft.
However, there’s an indication Poole may have made up his mind well before the May 29 deadline.
Poole has recently created an account on Cameo.com, a website that allows fans to pay a fee for personalized video shoutouts from celebrities, athletes and musicians.
Poole’s page, which was discovered Monday night by the Drew and Mike Podcast on Twitter, identifies him as a Michigan Wolverine basketball player, includes a photo of him in a Michigan warm-up shirt and states, "All positive shoutouts! Willing to help and brighten anyones day! Just click and lets get to it!"
His profile also includes two introductory videos of himself letting fans know he’ll do shoutouts for birthdays, proms, weddings, best friends and family members. He's charging $20 for each shoutout video.
While it’s unclear whether anyone has requested a shoutout from Poole and whether he has accepted any money (there's only one review for one of his intro videos), it’s an NCAA violation for college athletes to make money off their likeness and it would be considered a nonpermissible promotional activity.
According to NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199, “after becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.”
Poole offering his services through Cameo would appear to violate that guideline and would put his NCAA eligibility in jeopardy. However, it would be completely acceptable if Poole intends to keep his name in the draft and pursue a pro career.
More: NBA draft experts break down Michigan’s Brazdeikis, Matthews, Poole
Other college basketball players have also recently created Cameo profiles, like Tennessee's Admiral Schofield, Wisconsin's Ethan Happ, Virginia's Ty Jerome, Purdue's Carsen Edwards, and North Carolina's Nassir Little and Coby White. Schofield and Happ are both seniors, while Jerome, Edwards, Little and White are all projected first-round picks who have made it clear they won't be returning to school.
Poole, who averaged 12.8 points and shot 36.9 percent from 3-point range this past season, is projected to be a late second-round pick (No. 51 overall) by Sports Illustrated and is ranked No. 68 in ESPN’s top 100 draft prospects. He’s not listed in ESPN’s or NBADraft.net’s most recent two-round mock drafts but is a late first-round pick (No. 24 overall) in ESPN's 2020 mock draft.
Last week, Poole said he was undecided about his future even though he believes he has what it takes to be a pro right now and it would be hard to convince him otherwise.
"I think I'm more focused on being able to go back to working out and working on myself," Poole said. "And putting myself in a situation where I know I'm confident enough to either stay in (the draft) or come back.
"It's not a matter of rounds or situation or anything, it's just me going back to working on my individual game. And then I would be able to tell if I'm comfortable enough going or I'm coming back."
If Poole leaves for the NBA, he would join Charles Matthews as a departing member of a 30-win Michigan team that reached the Sweet 16, and his exit would open up a scholarship for 2019-20.
In addition to Poole, the Wolverines are also awaiting word from freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis, who isn't expected to make his final decision until after the NBA combine wraps up on May 19.