Changes in the amateur model promised by the Condoleeza Rice-led commission in the wake of the FBI investigation into shoe companies and college basketball are on the way.
The NCAA on Wednesday announced sweeping changes regarding college basketball eligibility, agents and other reforms in response to both the FBI investigation into alleged college basketball corruption a year ago and the April recommendations by the Commission on College Basketball. "Elite" players that go undrafted must notify their athletic director about returning to school by 5 p.m. Monday following the draft. A second group, which will be comprised of 15 people with backgrounds in law, higher education and sports with no affiliations to NCAA schools or conferences, will review the findings of the first group, oversee the hearing and decide penalties, if necessary.
Athletes will be allowed more college-paid visits, which can begin as soon as August 1 the summer before their junior year. The NCAA would establish a fund to help schools that financially would struggle to meet this requirement.
The NCAA attracted a lot of attention Wednesday by announcing that they would permit a pool of "elite" high school and college talent to hire agents.
However, the agents must be certified by the NCAA. Athletes returning to school would have to demonstrate need for assistance.
Soon enough, high school players will be able to break into the National Basketball Association without the need to play in college, much like other National Basketball Association stars like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett first entered the league. The new rules also allow for heavier punishments, like longer head coach suspensions and stronger fines.
The rule changes are a part of the NCAA's reforms in response to the college hoops corruption scandal.