INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — College basketball players who go undrafted by the NBA will be allowed to return to school and play as part of sweeping NCAA reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors adopted a “series of significant policy and legislative changes, setting in motion actions to change the structure of the NCAA fundamentally.”
The changes reflect the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission and will target summer recruiting camps, agent access for players and stiffer penalties for rule breakers.
The Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI investigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches for steering players to certain schools.
The policies adopted by the NCAA’s Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors include the appointment of independent groups to handle and resolve complex cases. That was one of the recommendations from the Rice Commission appointed in the wake of an FBI investigation into corruption within college basketball.
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.” The NCAA says that will save time because investigators would no longer have to independently confirm information outlined by other agencies or outside investigations.
In addition, school presidents and athletics staff will be required to commit “contractually” to cooperate fully with investigations.
Agents will have at least a limited place within the NCAA structure when it comes to college basketball.
The NCAA’s rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule.
The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players’ union would qualify.
Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation tied to meetings or workouts with pro teams. The agent’s work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.
The process to adopt recommendations for NCAA reforms from the Rice Commission was a swift one by the governing body’s standards. In a teleconference with reporters Wednesday, Georgia Tech president and Board of Governors chairman Bud Peterson said those changes would “normally take us about two years through the governance process.”
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