NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for draft, recruiting

Slow clap to the NCAA for inching some rules toward the realities of college basketball.

The NCAA launched a commission and set of subcommittees to address the fallout from the recent FBI investigation into the college basketball industry, resulting in several policy shifts, including the assigning of responsibility to USA Basketball for something the organization had already told the NCAA it wanted no part of: selecting elite senior high school prospects who will be allowed to sign with registered agents.

College players who declare early for the National Basketball Association draft but are not selected will have the option of returning to school, provided the National Basketball Association makes an expected rule change about draft eligibility, according to the NCAA. Under the proposed rule change, they would have to declare their intent by 5 p.m. the Monday following the NBA Draft.

Agents can pay for meals and transportation for players and their families if the expenses are related to the agent selection process. Those select players can be represented by an agent beginning July 1 before their senior year in high school, pending the end to the one-and-done rule.

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All player-agent relationships, however, must be in writing, disclosed to the NCAA and ended when the player comes back to school.

University presidents and chancellors will be held "personally accountable" for any rule-breaking by their athletic departments. The agent's work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college. While that appears to be the direction the league and union are headed, discussions are centered on the 2022 draft as the earliest date for that change to go into effect. The NCAA would establish a fund to help schools that financially would struggle to meet this requirement.

The changes also include requiring school presidents and athletics staff to commit "contractually" to cooperate fully with investigations, stiffer penalties for violations and regulation of the summer recruiting circuit.

The changes also allow the NCAA to accept during investigations outside information that has been "established by another administrative body or a commission authorized by a school". "We remain committed to promoting fairness in college sports and creating an environment that will champion the success of student-athletes".

  • Lawrence Cooper