New NCAA Rules are a Giant Leap Forward

The NCAA has just released ground breaking rules that may affect the landscape of college basketball for years to come.

No, this is not a drill.  This is a reality.

Perhaps the biggest and most important change is the use of agents.  According to the NCAA, college basketball players will now be able to be represented by an agent after any basketball season after an NBA evaluation for the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.  The report also notes that high schools players will also be able to hire an agent if they are deemed as ‘elite’ prospects by USA Basketball.

The report notes that agents can pay for meals and transportation, but only where the student lives / attends school, or if it is associated with meetings with the agent or a pro team.

In addition, college basketball players will now be able to return to school if they go undrafted.  Prior to this rule change, players that wished to withdraw from the draft had to within 10 days of completion of the NBA Combine.  Now, they will have until 5 p.m. the Monday after the NBA Draft to notify their school.

Lastly, prospective college basketball players will have more chances to visit colleges that they are being recruited by.

A full list of rules and guidelines can be seen on ncaa.org.

Plain and simple, the NCAA finally got something right.  Too often, we forget that basketball is a profession for some people.  If college basketball players are good enough, then they will make a career out of playing in the NBA.

Let me offer this question:

If you are a wizard at science and have the skills to be hired at NASA straight out of high-school, why wouldn’t you take the job.  After all, there are no restrictions on this.

It is the same for basketball players.  We are not yet at letting them jump out of high-school, but by allowing them to sign with an agent who can pay for school and meeting related meals and transportation, this is a step in the right direction.

This is the NCAA saying, “Hey, we’ve heard all of your complaints and wishes about agent representation, so here, lets give it a test run”.

I can’t blame the NCAA for not going all in.  By moving slowly, it will allow time for everything to catch up and get put in order.  Gold star number one for the NCAA.

However, it didn’t just stop here!  The NCAA is also allowing undrafted players who participated in the combine to return to school.  Gold star number two!

Not only is this good for undrafted players, but it is beneficial to schools.  Players can get a great look at where they will get drafted – or where they won’t.  On the flip side, schools will be able to get players back for another chance at a tournament run.  This could have allowed players such as Brandon McCoy, Trevon Duval, Allonzo Trier, and Malik Newman to return to school if they so choose.

Lastly, by allowing players to visit prospective colleges more often, it takes pressure off of coaches and players to fit a bunch of visits in – and do it legally at that.

Gold star number three, and the NCAA is now on top.  Congrats, NCAA, you’re making headlines for the right reason!

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