US NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for draft, recruiting

NCAA basketball changes: Undrafted players can return to school |

The rule changes are a part of the NCAA's reforms in response to the college hoops corruption scandal.

In repsonse to the recommendations issued in April from the Commission on College Basketball, the NCAA's Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors are implementing changes to provide student-athletes more freedom and flexibilty to decide about going pro and minimize the leverage of outside influences on high school recruits and college athletes.

The NCAA announced major rule changes for college basketball Wednesday.

One of the main changes includes giving players the opportunity to enter the NBA Draft and return to school if they are undrafted, pending future action from the NBA and the NBPA.

The changes were recommended by the Commission on College Basketball, an independent group formed past year in response to a recruiting "pay-for-play" scandal that rocked the sport. This change is also dependent on the National Basketball Association and the NBPA modifying their rules regarding age eligibility, which puts the timetable out of the NCAA's hands.

The agents, who must be certified by the NCAA, can assist players in making informed decisions about turning pro, but can only be hired at the conclusion of a season and have no financial ties to the players aside from small travel and meal expenses related to the draft.

University presidents and chancellors will also now be personally resposible for their athletics programs abiding by the NCAA's rules. While that appears to be the direction the league and union are headed, discussions are centered on the 2022 draft as the earliest date for that change to go into effect. The NCAA would establish a fund to help schools that financially would struggle to meet this requirement. The agent's work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.

No schools were mentioned, but two Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, one in September and another in April, have identified recruiting practices that violate NCAA rules involving prospects who wound up at several schools, including Kansas.

Division I schools are now required to pay for tuition, fees and books for men's and women's basketball player who return to their school to finish their degree. Agents often get a bad rap as pragmatists and manipulators; they serve a necessary and appropriate role in this process.