Following ongoing federal investigation into series of allegations on fraud in college basketball, the NCAA’s Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors have announced policy changes to the rules guiding the conduct of student-athletes, particularly as it centers around their participation in NCAA basketball programs and recruitment into professional leagues.
An investigation that began in September 2017 revealed widespread corruption, bribery, and wire fraud that found some top NCAA programs culpable. Some coaches, managers, financial advisers, and representatives of Adidas were indicted in a fraud and corruption scheme based on findings from the investigation.
The policy changes, which were in reaction to a list of recommendations made by the Commission on College Basketball last April, will, among other things, enable players participate in the NBA combine and return to school if they are not selected in the NBA Draft. Also, financial assistance will be provided for players who leave school early and wish to return later to complete their degree programs. A new aspect in the policy change will, also, grant “elite” high school and college athletes the opportunity to be represented by an agent, who must be certified by an NCAA program.
Specifically, as it refers to agent representation, high-schoolers who have received the “elite senior prospect” designation by USA Basketball, may be represented from July 1 prior to their senior year. College student-athletes, however, can be represented after any season upon requesting an “evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committtee.”
The news regarding an investigation by the FBI last September necessitated the changes in college basketball recruiting, the NCAA noted in its joint statement.
— NCAA (@NCAA) August 8, 2018
The new changes will, also, make university presidents and chancellors personally responsible for their athletics programs in adhering to the NCAA’s rules.
“Presidents and chancellors join all athletics staff in personally affirming the athletics program meets obligations for monitoring rules compliance, which is required to be eligible for the postseason.
“Also, schools are required to cooperate fully during NCAA investigations and take appropriate corrective action. Those who break rules face stronger penalties, including longer postseason bans, longer head coach suspensions, increased recruiting restrictions and additional fines.
“These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes over every other factor,” the joint statement by the NCAA leaders noted.
Most importantly, the policy change will seek to minimize corruption, disincentivize fraud, and discourage potential rule-breakers.