The NCAA on Wednesday announced sweeping changes regarding college basketball eligibility, agents and other reforms in response to both the FBI investigation into alleged college basketball corruption last year and the April recommendations by the Commission on College Basketball.
Highlights include allowing elite high school and college players to sign agents to help them with the choices for their future as is available in sports including baseball and hockey.
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Players invited to the annual NBA Draft Combine would also be able to enter the draft and return to school with eligibility intact if they go undrafted. Under previous rules, players could “test the waters” of NBA interest, but had to withdraw from draft consideration 10 days after the combine. This change depends on cooperation with the NBA and NBA Players Association.
Schools would be required to provided tuition, fees and books assistance to players who left early and wanted to return to school within 10 years. Kentucky already offers lifetime scholarships in basketball and assistance in other sports. The NCAA would establish a fund to help schools that financially would struggle to meet this requirement. Athletes returning to school would have to demonstrate need for assistance.
In addition, agents certified by the NCAA would be able pay for meals and certain other expenses.
The new rules also allow for more official visits beginning just prior to a high school player’s junior year.
Some of the changes go into effect immediately. Some depend on the cooperation of other parties, including the NBA.
Read the full press release at http://www.ncaa.org/about/committed-change.