NCAA To Allow 'Elite' Prospects To Hire Agents

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This week, we delivered on a promise made just months ago to make profound and meaningful changes to college basketball.

Some of the changes go into effect immediately.

The NCAA will now allow "elite" high school and prospective college athletes to be represented by an agent, while also permitting players to return to school if undrafted by the National Basketball Association, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Players will be eligible to hire an agent after "any basketball season", so long as they request an evaluation from the NBA undergraduate advisory committee, according to Charania.

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A move like this will facilitate contact between NBA teams and high school prospects directly, while allowing the NCAA to retain its talent if players go undrafted after the league has selected its top 60 players in the NBA Draft. But USA Basketball, according to Wojnarowski, doesn't have the interest or resources to carry out that task. Say Maryland's Kevin Huerter, for example, didn't get drafted in the first two rounds - he'd be able to play for the Terps again.

Division I schools are now also bound to pay for tuition, fees and books for those players who left school and later returned to earn their degree, provided the player was on scholarship, fewer than 10 years have passed since leaving school and the player had been enrolled in the school for at least two years.

University presidents and chancellors will also now be personally resposible for their athletics programs abiding by the NCAA's rules. There will also be longer postseason bans, head coach suspensions and increased recruiting restrictions for college coaches who break the rules.

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.

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