By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 6, 1998

Bibby's future remains a question


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Mike Bibby

It's now a matter of who you believe.

ESPN is reporting that Arizona All-American sophomore point guard Mike Bibby is leaving for the NBA. One local media outlet reported he would give his decision to coach Lute Olson at the Wooden Award ceremony - won by North Carolina's Antawn Jamison - on Friday night. Yet another outlet reported Bibby has purchased a plane ticket to Vancouver, site of June's NBA draft.

Add it all up and everybody has said Bibby is going to the NBA except Bibby himself. UA guard Josh Pastner said yesterday that Bibby has yet to determine his future status. "He has not made any decision at all. He's still a student-athlete," Pastner said.

He has until May 10 to declare his eligibility and may return to school if he dislikes his draft position, provided he does not sign with an agent.

Brett Hansen, the men's basketball team's sports information coordinator, confirmed yesterday that Bibby, his mother, Virginia, and Olson met Friday in Los Angeles at the Wooden Award ceremony to discuss his future plans.

Hansen said he expects Bibby to meet with coaches today and added that UA hopes to have a press conference announcing his decision by the end of the week.

Kansas junior Paul Pierce has already declared himself eligible while the other high-profile underclassman - Jamison - has yet to announce his decision. He has said in recent weeks that he is leaning toward staying for his senior season like Tim Duncan and Keith Van Horn, who are each now flourishing in the NBA.

Bibby could not be reached yesterday for comment.

The biggest factor in Bibby's decision will most likely be the threat of a work stoppage in the NBA. The league's union and management are currently trying to hammer out an agreement with the biggest sticking point being the Larry Bird clause, which allows teams to resign their own free agents without regard to the salary cap. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, a lockout is likely.

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