USA Basketball 'blindsided' by NCAA reforms in college basketball; high school players can use agents, but only when one-and-done rule changes | Zagsblog
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Wednesday / April 8.
  • USA Basketball ‘blindsided’ by NCAA reforms in college basketball; high school players can use agents, but only when one-and-done rule changes

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    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.

    The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players’ union would qualify.

    Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation tied to meetings or workouts with pro teams. The agent’s work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.

    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.

    “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?”

    ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla also weighed in on this issue.

    ___

    (Developing story; The AP contributed)



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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.