NCAA basketball changes: Undrafted players can return to school

NCAA basketball changes: Undrafted players can return to school

Javier Howell
August 11, 2018

This new rule aims to help highly touted high school players "make informed decisions about going pro".

The NCAA on Wednesday announced sweeping rule changes for basketball, including allowing players to hire an agent and participate in the NBA Draft, yet still retain eligibility. That player that is not selected would have to inform their schools by 5 p.m. the following Monday after the NBA Draft takes place.

The NCAA included a provision allowing agent relationships for high school players identified as an elite prospect by USA Basketball beginning July 1 before their senior year, though only if the NBA changes its age-limit restrictions. These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes over every other factor.

The initial response was that it appeared as though, for the first time in a long time, the NCAA had done something good that benefits the players.

University presidents and chancellors will be held "personally accountable" for any rule-breaking by their athletic departments.

These are all good steps toward serving the athletes who make the NCAA tournament great each year.

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The belief in National Basketball Association circles is that the earliest such a change would go into effect is for the 2021 draft. The NCAA plans to pursue more rigorous certification requirements to ensure transparency in operations and finances. NCAA cases now can draw upon information obtained through other entities, such as government agencies, which will speed up the process of investigating issues.

The changes also include requiring school presidents and athletics staff to commit "contractually" to cooperate fully with investigations, stiffer penalties for violations and regulation of the summer recruiting circuit.

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.

"We've got a lot of work to do still as part of the process", Peterson said.

Basketball student athletes can now take up 10 official visits between Aug.1 of their junior year and October 15 after their high school graduation: five as a junior and five as senior, according to the NCAA.