NCAA Adds New College Basketball Rules: Certified Player Agents Allowed, Longer Postseason Bans For Violations
The NCAA announced a series of new rules and policies on Wednesday designed to end corruption in college basketball, a sport that has become mired in federal investigations for illegal recruitment practices over the last two years.
The association’s Division I board of directors and board of governors agreed to:
-permit agents to represent top-ranked high school basketball recruits and college players as long as those agents are approved by the NCAA;
-authorize eligible underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft and go back to their university if they are unable to get drafted;
-impose lengthier postseason bans and suspensions — as well as more recruitment sanctions and restrictions on coaches — on teams that commit recruitment violations.
“These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interest of student-athletes over every other factor,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We remain committed to promoting fairness in college sports and creating an environment that will champion the success of student-athletes.”
Over the last two years, dozens of NCAA basketball programs and players — as well as agents and even sponsorship companies like Adidas — have been charged for being involved in illicit recruitment schemes that included bribery and other tactics designed to convince high school athletes to join specific collegiate programs. Some assistant coaches and other athletic executives at universities all across the country have been accused of playing a role in these corruption scandals.
Under the new recruitment rules, prospective basketball players will be permitted to officially visit up to 15 college programs, ten more than the previously allowed amount.
Another newly introduced NCAA policy concerns sports apparel companies. The new rule dictates that college coaches and staff are required to report to their institution’s president any income greater than $600 that comes from any source outside the university. This of course includes sponsorship deals with firms like Under Armour and Nike.
The new rules seem like a positive step toward eradicating corruption in college basketball. The requirement of higher transparency with respect to financial earnings from endorsement deals seems like an especially smart decision that will help significantly reduce the frequency of violations like the ones that have been committed in recent years.