Here’s some good news from the NCAA regarding their governance of college basketball and players looking to go pro
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
We have some good news for basketball athletes and their hoop dreams.
The NCAA announced on Wednesday a ruling that would loosen the restrictions on college athletes in regards to their pursuit of a career in the NBA.
“We’re taking action on college sports to promote integrity, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes,” the NCAA summarized on their Twitter account.
— NCAA (@NCAA) August 8, 2018
Here are the objectives, straight from the NCAA:
“We remain committed to promoting fairness in college sports and creating an environment that will champion the success of student-athletes.
To that end, the changes we approved will:
– Provide college basketball players more freedom and flexibility to decide their future.
– Minimize the leverage of outside influences on high school recruits and college athletes.
– Add fresh perspective and independent judgment to NCAA decision-making at the highest level of policymaking and in investigations and case resolution.
– Strengthen accountability and deter future rule-breaking with harsher penalties for those who break the rules.”
Here are the key points of the rule changes and how they affect basketball athletes:
Athletes who declare for the draft and go undrafted can return to college ball: underclassmen can enter the draft, participate in the combine and if undrafted, they can return to their college program. Under this new rule, athletes must request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Council before deciding to enter the draft and must notify their school’s athletics director of their intention to return by 5 p.m. on the Monday after the draft. The players who return would be ineligible for the NBA draft until the end of the next college basketball season.
Athletes can enlist agents earlier: Effective immediately, the NCAA will allow college players to be represented by NBAPA-certified agents beginning after any season, as long as they request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. It is expected that the NBA will change their rules regarding eligibility for the draft, but that might not come any earlier than 2021. If domestic athletes are no longer required to be a year out of high school, then the NBA will allow athletes who are labeled “elite” by USA Basketball to enlist an NCAA certified agent no earlier than July 1 prior to their senior year in high school.
Regarding recruiting: official visits will be expanded. The current rule allows five official visits where the school picks up a majority of the expense. That will be expanded to 15 official visits and the visits can start on August 1 prior to an athlete’s junior year of high school. The visits are tiered chronologically. Five official visits can take place from August 1 prior to the junior year through the end of the junior year. Five official visits can be made from the end of the junior academic year until October 15 after high school graduation. The remaining five official visits can be taken from that point until the end of a student-athlete’s college eligibility.
Academics: According to ESPN, “Starting in August 2019, Division I schools will be required to pay for tuition, books and fees for scholarship basketball players who leave school and return within 10 years to the same school to earn their first degree. Only players who attended school for at least two years before leaving are eligible. The NCAA is establishing a fund for schools that are financially unable to pay for the players’ education when they return.”
Rules enforcement: Beginning August 1, 2019, the NCAA will utilize two separate groups to handle investigations and adjudication. School representatives, the Committee on Infractions, or the NCAA itself can request that this advanced process be initiated to review complex situations. The first group, the Complex Case Unit, will investigate complex matters related to rules violations. The second group, the College Sports Adjudication Panel, will review the findings of the first group, oversee any hearings related to the matters at hand, and determine any penalties, if applicable.
Summer Basketball: out-of-season events will be further scrutinized and additional certification measures will be implemented in order to address concerns about corruption. College coaches will be limited in their ability to attend out-of-season events that include high school prospects.
Again, according to ESPN, “College coaches will be permitted to attend the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in mid-June, as well as two more events at the end of that month, if the National Federation of State High School Associations has approved them. Four-day recruiting periods were added to April, as well. The new calendar also allows coaches to attend NCAA youth development camps in late July, which are a new collaboration between the NCAA, USA Basketball, the NBA and NBAPA. They can also still attend one weekend youth basketball event in early July; coaches could previous attend three weekends of youth basketball events in July.”
Shoe contracts: college coaches and staff gaining income from shoe and apparel companies greater than $600 per year must be reported to the university’s president or chancellor. The NCAA is also working with shoe and apparel companies in an effort to establish greater transparency when it comes to the companies’ dealings with youth athletics.
Regarding the NBA Draft rules, initial reports suggest that USA Basketball, the NBA Player’s Association and the NBA are in the dark about the proposed changes. While the news is favorable for athletes, no official statement has come from USA Basketball or the NBA at this point.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted: “USA Basketball and the NBA were blindsided w/ NCAA dictating USAB would decide which HS players could eventually hire agents. USAB doesn’t have desire or infrastructure for those evaluations. If anyone has that expertise, it’s NBA.”
– Andy Hilton