New NCAA Basketball Rule Allows Players To Return To School If Undrafted

NCAA basketball changes: Undrafted players can return to school | SI.com

Top officials with the NBA and USA Basketball were blindsided by the NCAA's announcement of future rules changes regarding pro basketball prospects, as well as the timing of it, sources told ESPN. The NBA's current rules require USA players to be 19 years old and one year removed from high school, which has led to many elite high school players using college basketball as a one-year waypoint before turning pro.

First, it will allow players who have "request (ed) an Undergraduate Advisory Committee evaluation, participate (d) in the NBA combine and aren't drafted" to return to school and participate in college basketball again.

Other potential changes include allowing agents to represent active college players and pay for expenses like meals and transportation for players and families "if the expenses are related to the agent selection process" and allowing rising high school seniors to be represented by an agent.

Other changes imply there will be tougher penalties for infractions: "Those who break rules face stronger penalties, including longer postseason bans, longer head coach suspensions, increased recruiting restrictions and additional fines", the statement read.

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University presidents and chancellors will also now be personally resposible for their athletics programs abiding by the NCAA's rules. Previously, athletes who declared for the National Basketball Association draft and attended the National Basketball Association combine could return to school only if they withdrew within 10 days following the combine.

That agreement must end if the player returns to school.

Some of the changes go into effect immediately. Dan Gavitt, the NCAA's senior vice president for basketball, said event operators will have to "meet a much higher bar in order to be able to run those events". However, it's also not appropriate for the NCAA to impede that pursuit, and some of these rules have previously been so outdated that they interfered with making the best decisions. The NCAA will also add public members to its Board of Governors.

The NCAA is taking steps to try to clean up college basketball, carving out a limited role for agents to work with players and changing pivotal parts of its rules-enforcement system as part of numerous reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.

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