NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for draft, recruiting

NCAA basketball changes: Undrafted players can return to school | SI.com

The NCAA attracted a lot of attention Wednesday by announcing that they would permit a pool of "elite" high school and college talent to hire agents.

A joint statement from NCAA leaders noted, "These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes over every other factor".

Changes in the amateur model promised by the Condoleeza Rice-led commission in the wake of the FBI investigation into shoe companies and college basketball are on the way.

These are all good steps toward serving the athletes who make the NCAA tournament great each year.

Among the most significant changes are the new rules that allow undrafted players to return to school, provide financial assistance to players who leave school early and wish to return later to finish their degree, and give high school and college athletes the opporunity to be represented by an agent.

Emmert said the National Basketball Association and the NBPA have "expressed a keen interest in working with us" on this issue. That player that is not selected would have to inform their schools by 5 p.m. the following Monday after the NBA Draft takes place. Players will have five days following the draft to declare that they are returning to school.

Agents can pay for meals and transportation for players and their families if the expenses are related to the agent selection process. There would not be a financial relationship between the student-athlete and the agent.

Rice said the vast majority of schools play by the rules but a "win at all cost" approach by others who have been inadequately punished must be changed.

Most of the changes take effect beginning this school year. To me, maximizing a kid's opportunity to better himself should be more important than protecting college coaches' keeping their rosters tidy in June.

That agreement must end if the player returns to school. The NCAA plans to pursue more rigorous certification requirements to ensure transparency in operations and finances. The NCAA is establishing a fund to assist schools in this endeavor. "Those who break rules face stronger penalties, including longer postseason bans, longer head coach suspensions, increased recruiting restrictions and additional fines". Agents often get a bad rap as pragmatists and manipulators; they serve a necessary and appropriate role in this process.

Basketball student athletes can now take up 10 official visits between Aug.1 of their junior year and October 15 after their high school graduation: five as a junior and five as senior, according to the NCAA.

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