INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — College basketball players who get invited to the NBA Combine and go undrafted by the NBA will be allowed to return to school and play as part of sweeping NCAA reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.Agents will also have at least a limited place within the NCAA structure when it comes to college basketball. The NCAA’s rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule. The one-and-done rule may not change until 2021 at the earliest, however.
One agent suggested the changes could turn college basketball into the “Wild, Wild West.”
The changes reflect the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission and will target summer recruiting camps, agent access for players and stiffer penalties for rule breakers.
The Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI investigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches for steering players to certain schools.
It remains unclear what an “elite high school basketball recruit” means, and also the rule means for foreign-born players like R.J. Barrett of Duke and Charles Bassey of Western Kentucky.
The NCAA is apparently relying on USA Basketball to determine which prospects are “elite,” but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday on air that the organization was “blindsided” by the NCAA’s changes.
Few are pleased w/ NCAA’s handling of release. USA Basketball and the NBA were blindsided w/ NCAA dictating USAB would decide which HS players could eventually hire agents. USAB doesn’t have desire or infrastructure for those evaluations. If anyone has that expertise, it’s NBA.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 8, 2018
“There needs to be a lot of clarification on this,” the agent said. “How do agents get compensated during high school and college? What is the NCAA ‘program’ we need to register for?”
And who defines “elite”? https://t.co/k0pnNTQhGN— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) August 8, 2018
Hey, @NCAA, does elite player sign a letter of intent with an agent? Can he transfer from one agent to another? Whose definition of an “elite player” is it? Be honest, did your fellow stakeholders, @usabasketball & @nba know this was coming today?— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) August 8, 2018
(Developing story; The AP contributed)