Significant changes are coming to college basketball as the NCAA has approved rewrites to a number of the rules governing college athletics. Most of the changes come from recommendations made by the Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice. All of the changes will go into effect retroactively, as of Aug. 1, or will be implemented beginning in 2019, as dictated by the calendar.
In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said, “These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interest of student-athletes over every other factor. We remain committed to promoting fairness in college sports and creating an environment that will champion the success of student-athletes.”
One of the significant changes adopted by the NCAA’s board of governors and Division I board of directors is that now “elite” high school recruits and college athletes are permitted to hire agents to help them “make informed decisions about going pro.” Those agents must be certified by the NCAA and USA Basketball will help the NCAA identify which prospects in a given class are “elite.”
Another rule change will allow players to return to school if they declare for the NBA draft but are not selected. Under the previous rules, players who remained in the draft and were not selected by an NBA team were not allowed to return, forcing them to choose between the G League or playing in Europe to play professionally. Now, players who participate in the NBA combine can return “as long as they notify their athletics director of their intent by 5 p.m. the Monday after the draft.”
Effective immediately, the NCAA is requiring all school presidents, chancellors and athletics staff members to contractually comply with any and all investigations after multiple schools got caught up in a Department of Justice’s investigation alleging violations of multiple federal laws. The NCAA will also allow its Committee on Infractions to use information obtained in other probes for its own investigations. School presidents and chancellors will now personally be held accountable for their athletic departments abiding by the rules.