The NCAA unveiled significant rule changes Wednesday aimed at cleaning up college basketball that will include “elite” high school seniors having the ability to hire agents and underclassmen having the ability to return to college if they enter the NBA draft but aren’t selected.
The new guidelines also permit recruits to take more official campus visits.
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.” That change is highly significant, as it appears to work around a long-standing issue with NCAA investigations: the lack of subpoena power.
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.
That investigation becoming public last year spurred the NCAA into action, forming a Commission on College Basketball chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which issued a report in April. The rule changes announced Wednesday largely came from recommendations made by the Rice commission.
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.”