On Wednesday, the NCAA announced major changes to eligibility requirements for college basketball players who wish to declare for the NBA draft.
From now on, and subject to approval by the NBA and NBPA, student-athletes who enter the draft and aren’t selected will now be able to return to school as long as they notify their university athletic director by the Monday following the draft, but if a player returned to school, they would be ineligible to play in the NBA until the end of the next college basketball season.
Another major change is that NCAA players can now be represented by agents without losing eligibility. Certified agents can also represent high school recruits, provided they’ve been identified as an “elite senior prospect” by USA Basketball.
Under the new rules agents would also be permitted to pay expenses such as meals and transportation if related to the agent selection process.
The NCAA also took measures to beef up its enforcement of the rulebook, making penalties more severe, adding independent investigators for “complex” cases and allowing NCAA investigators to “accept information established by another administrative body, including a court of law, government agency, accrediting body or a commission authorized by a school.”
This could particularly come into play as the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption, which resulted in four assistant coaches being arrested, moves into the courtroom phase over the next several months.
Other changes made by the NCAA include an overhaul of the college basketball recruiting calendar and a rule requiring coaches and athletics staff to disclose income from “any source outside their school, such as an apparel company.”
All the rule changes put forth on Wednesday go into effect retroactively, as of Aug. 1, or will be implemented beginning in 2019 as the calendar dictates.