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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / October 23.
  • USA Basketball ‘surprised,’ ‘confused’ by NCAA reforms

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    One day after reports had USA Basketball “blindsided” by NCAA reforms in college basketball, the organization’s CEO used the terms “surprised” and “confused” to describe the changes.

    In an interview with ESPN’s Seth Greenberg from the Bahamas, Jim Tooley said his organization was caught off guard by the NCAA’s proposal that USA Basketball would determine which “elite” high school athletes could hire agents in the new system.

    “The one thing that surprised us yesterday was just the piece on the player agents,” Tooley said. “That kids could get an agent in high school if we had identifed them as an elite athlete. However, we told the NCAA weeks ago that wasn’t a good solution because our universe of junior national team players is not encompassing every NBA prospect and it doesn’t include international players, so that was just the one little area where there was some confusion.”

    ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday on air that USA Basketball was “blindsided” by that component, while Kentucky coach John Calipari said no changes were likely to happen in that space until 2022, when the NBA could get rid of the “one-and-done” rule.

    ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla also called out the agent component of the changes on Twitter.

    Still, Tooley said USA Basketball has been working with the NCAA, the NBA and the NBA Players Association on the proposed changes.

    As for what role USA Basketball should play, Tooley said they were open to helping out with camps and events during July recruiting under the revised summer schedule.

    “We’ve been talking with the NCAA about collaborating with them, the NBA and the NBA Players Association, about working with them in the July space,” he said. “We haven’t really defined what those specifics are going to be but we think the collective credibilty of all of in that space could really improve the landscape.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.