Commission recommends significant changes to college basketball model

  • 04/25/2018 8:37 am in

The commission on college basketball, led by Condoleeza Rice, announced its recommendations for changes to the sport to the NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors.

The full report, which is 60 pages, can be accessed here. We’ve summarized some of the key recommendations below:

· Abolish the one-and-done rule:

The Commission calls on the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) again to make 18-year-olds eligible for the NBA draft, so that high school players who are drafted may proceed to the NBA. The NCAA lacks the legal power to change one-and-done on its own; the power to make this change lies exclusively with the NBA and the NBPA.

· Allow student athletes to test their professional prospects without losing their eligibility if a contract is not signed:

The Commission recommends that high school and college players who declare for the draft and are not drafted remain eligible for college basketball unless and until they sign a professional contract. Specifically, players who are not drafted should be permitted to change their minds and attend college or return to college, provided they remain academically and otherwise eligible. The Commission also recommends imposing two additional conditions on this retention of eligibility: The player must return to the same school, and the player must request an evaluation from the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee before entering the draft. The NBA has unique credibility with elite players who should have the benefit of the NBA evaluation in deciding whether to enter the draft.

· Permit students to receive meaningful assessment of professional prospects earlier with assistance from certified agents:

The Commission recommends that the NCAA and its member institutions develop strict standards for certifying agents and allow NCAA-certified agents to engage with student-athletes at an appropriate point in their high school careers to be determined by the NCAA. The NCAA must appoint a Vice-President level executive to develop meaningful standards for NCAA certification and administer the program. Among other requirements, the rules should mandate that agents notify colleges when they are retained by a matriculating student-athlete. The program should also educate student-athletes about eligibility rules and requirements.

· Provide resources too make the promise of a college education real:

The Commission recommends that the NCAA immediately establish a substantial fund and commit to paying for the degree completion of student athletes with athletic scholarships who leave member institutions after progress of at least two years towards a degree. Colleges and universities must fulfill their commitments to student-athletes to provide not just a venue for athletic competition, but also an education. They must promise student-athletes that the option to receive an education will be there, even after the athlete is finished with his athletic career. This will be expensive, but it is necessary to restore credibility to the phrase student-athlete.

· Implement independent investigation and adjudication of complex cases:

The Commission recommends that the NCAA create independent investigative and adjudicative arms to address and resolve complex and serious cases (hereafter “complex cases”) involving violations of NCAA rules.

· Enact and impose core punishments with significant deterrent effect:

The Commission recommends that the NCAA enact significant increases in the penalties imposed on institutions and individuals for violations of NCAA rules. Currently, the rewards for violating the rules far outweigh the risks. To reverse
this calculation, the Commission recommends a number of changes in the NCAA’s penalty structure.

· Mitigating non-scholastic basketball’s harmful influence on college basketball:

Virtually all of the top recruits for each collegiate recruiting class participate in non-scholastic basketball. The Commission recommends that the NCAA take short and long-term actions to reform non-scholastic basketball and disassociate the NCAA and its member institutions from the aspects of non-scholastic basketball where transparency and ethical behavior cannot be assured. As part of this effort, the Commission recommends that the NCAA partner with USA Basketball, the NBA, the NBPA and others to create and administer new resources and programs for youth basketball development, including substantial regional camps for collegiate prospects in July where NCAA coaches would evaluate players.

· Reform non-scholastic basketball and make its finances transparent:

In the near term, the Commission recommends that the NCAA promptly adopt and enforce rigorous criteria for certifying the non-scholastic basketball events that its coaches attend. In order for the NCAA to certify a non-scholastic basketball event, the owners, event operators, sponsors, and coaches for the event must agree to financial transparency about all events they run, including those that are not certified by the NCAA. This requirement includes agreement (i) to be subject to audit and to provide all required IRS and other tax filings upon request; (ii) to disclose all sources of financing and other payments and the recipients of all funds provided for or collected in relation to the event; and (iii) to disclose any financial relationship between the event sponsors and coaches with any administrator, coach or booster at any NCAA school. The money flowing from apparel companies and other third parties into non-scholastic basketball must be disclosed and accounted for, in order to address the corruption arising from nonscholastic basketball.

· Enlist the apparel companies in transparency and accountability efforts:

The apparel companies that actively sponsor non-scholastic basketball are public companies. It appears, however, that they do not have effective controls in place in their spending in non-scholastic basketball. The Commission calls on the boards of these companies to publicly support and implement financial transparency and accountability with respect to their own investments in nonscholastic basketball. Particularly in light of the facts uncovered in the recent FBI investigation, these public companies should be concerned about how their money is used in non-scholastic basketball. We expect that these companies will insist that all employees provide detailed accountability about such expenditures and cooperate with new NCAA rules about financial transparency and accountability.

· In cooperation with partners, establish NCAA youth basketball programs:

With respect to the longer term, the Commission recommends that with a goal of 2019, the NCAA work with USA Basketball, the NBA and the NBPA and others to establish and administer new youth basketball programs. We would expect the NCAA to devote significant resources and attention to these programs. Briefly, the Commission proposes that youth basketball players be identified and developed at three levels: Level 1, players with National Team potential; Level 2, players with Highest Collegiate potential; and Level 3, players with Collegiate potential. At each level, players would have to be identified, developed and evaluated by appropriate stakeholders. Critically, that development would include not only basketball, but also academic and life skills, health and collegiate eligibility. One centerpiece of this program would be NCAA-administered regional non-scholastic basketball events in July that NCAA coaches would exclusively attend. The Commission also recommends that the NCAA – in collaboration with USA Basketball, the NBA, the NBPA, the WNBPA – consider similar initiatives to enhance the development of young women basketball players.

In sum, the NCAA and NCAA coaches may no longer associate with nonscholastic basketball events that are not financially transparent and otherwise compliant with NCAA requirements regardless of when they are held. Moreover, in light of the recommendation that players be permitted to choose a professional pathway at an earlier time, the NCAA and others should devote significant resources to earlier development, including education, for players in youth basketball. The corruption we observe in college basketball has its roots in youth basketball. The reforms recommended by the Commission will be fruitless unless the NCAA gives serious attention to regulating summer programs.

· Enact changes in rules governing recruiting and coaches’ interaction with recruits and student-athletes:

The Commission also endorses and recommends adoption of a number of the rule changes recommended by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and other organizations to reduce the influence of third parties and increase the ability of college coaches to interact with recruits and current players.

· Add a significant cadre of public members to the NCAA’s Board of Governors:

The Commission recommends that the NCAA restructure its highest governance body, the Board of Governors, to include at least five public members with the experience, stature and objectivity to assist the NCAA in re-establishing itself as an effective and respected leader and regulator of college sports. One of these public members should also serve on the NCAA’s Executive Board. The current Board of Governors includes 16 institutional presidents or chancellors, the chairs of the Division I Council and the Division II and III Management Councils, and the NCAA president. NCAA Constitution 4.1.1 (Composition). Like public companies, major non-profit associations usually include outside board members to provide objectivity, relevant experience, perspective and wisdom. Board members with those qualities will provide valuable insight to the NCAA generally, and as it works towards the restoration of college basketball. The NCAA should promptly identify candidates with the appropriate stature and characteristics, and change its rules to require public voting members on its highest governing body. The Commission will make independent board member recommendations to the NCAA to assist it in assembling a first-rate list of candidates.

It’s important to note that these are just recommendations from the commission and it will be up the NCAA to enact any recommended changes.

Filed to:

  • IUDan

    I think they mean AAU events and teh shoe company tournaments.

  • SCHoosier

    IMO great recommendations for the overall problems. But if the NCAA has to plan and enforce these recommendations…based on their previous enforcement actions..the NBA will have a league on Mars before the Committee’s work sees the light of day!

  • Juan Pablo

    Non-school related basketball. That’s pretty self explanatory dummy 😉

  • Juan Pablo

    These ideas sound great, but can the inept NCAA execute?

  • SCHoosier

    Looks like some good work by the Committe ….recommendations cover a lot of ground. However if the NCAA is the body implementing the recommendations..based on its previous history of enforcement..the NBA will have a league on Mars before any NCAA changes see the light of day!

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Ah, gotcha. Thanks!

  • Ole Man

    Some good recommendations is my humble opinion.
    I disagree with one, however.
    Agents are in the game for themselves. The insertion of them into HS basketball will not serve those young men (and women) well.
    Another whisper in their ear at that level will only create more havoc, bad decisions by “mold-able” young men, and money-deals with colleges. I.E. more pushing young men to certain colleges IF you pay such and such and do such and such.

  • INUnivHoosier2

    So, they think the NCAA is missing out on their cut from youth basketball leagues.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I can see your line of thought on this, but how else is a high school kid supposed to “get a feel for” or “get his foot in the door” with an NBA team without an agent? By the very definition, the agent’s job is supposed to act on the behalf of the kid. Obviously there are crooked agents out there, but I guess that’s where the student and his group of support will have to use their best judgement when selecting an agent to represent them. Not trying to stir up anything, but I think they’re a “necessary evil”, so to speak. Plus, not all are crooked.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yeah, but you have to think about these players aren’t coming in as “normal students”. They’re playing for a basketball program that generates a lot of money for the university. Obviously, you can’t put a dollar amount on how much say Juwan Morgan is bringing in individually for the program and thus, the university, but if the overall PROGRAM brings in millions, the university is coming out ahead by giving him 4 years worth of an education. And no offense as I was once a “normal student”, but I didn’t bring in any money besides the tuition I paid and DEFINITELY NOT millions! LOL

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Hey! I just noticed the “Moderator” designation next to your username. Congratulations! Well deserved.

  • Oldguyy

    I think the idea is that if a lot of these kids are interacting with agents anyway (and they are), then if you had it out in the open and had only NCAA certified agents allowed, some standards of rectitude would have to be followed, or else the agents would be dropped from certification, and thus from access to potential future income. The devil is in the details, of course, and this recommendation, like most others, would only work in the setting of a competent NCAA.

  • Newman

    Considering the number of former athletes on the commission, I’m disappointed in how little benefit exists for the players in the recommendations. Nothing that would provide any financial compensation; athletes can engage with agents, but cannot get loans from them; greater NCAA control of non-scholastic competition, which, if enacted, means the NCAA gets another financial windfall and the players get nothing. The best things for the players: Elimination of one-and-done (beyond the NCAA’s control); the right to return to college if not drafted by the NBA and no agent; and requiring colleges to pay for athletes’ educations if they leave for the NBA (I think IU does this already, correct?). Minor, incremental steps at best.

  • dwdkc

    That one immediately made me raise an eyebrow, although the rest of it was pretty good. I figured the recs had to take into account the limited ability the NCAA has to investigate, and they don’t really specify how that will improve other than increasing the penalties which should inspire more cooperation. And also they weren’t going to walk away from the shoe company millions either, but they make reasonable recommendations to sort of regulate how the shoe companies can funnel money which can be done in the contracts.

  • hardly

    My assumption was that the degree completion clause applied to ALL student-athletes, from men’s basketball to non-revenue sports. With the other suggestions they mentioned basketball specifically, but with this one they don’t – which is why I said make it university specific. IMO that’s an attractive feature for top recruits to be able to return and finish their education free of charge in the case that being a professional doesn’t work as hoped.

  • TennesseeHoosier

    If you allow players to enter draft, and then return if they do not get drafted, this will create scholarship problems as the draft isn’t until June 21. It is bad enough waiting for May as is the case with Juwan Morgan for a decision, but June 21? They would have to move up the draft wouldn’t they?

  • Newman

    Initially it certainly will create issues for coaches, but as I recall, Archie has endorsed this idea and has suggested that eventually coaches would adapt.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Call me a dummy (and somebody probably will), but what in the heck is a “non-scholastic basketball event”?

    Overall, I think if most of these were enacted that it would be a major plus for the NCAA and the NBA.

  • Patrick T O’Sullivan

    Allowing players to come back if they are not drafted will be tough to workout. Coaches can’t always wait till the end of June or beginning of July to find out whether they will have an open scholarship or not.

  • inLinE6

    I think that’s the reason with another recommendation for students to receive professional assessments earlier. I doubt it’ll change the draft date, but you’ll get a much better sense whether you’ll be drafted, 1st round or 2nd round, etc.

  • marcusgresham

    Not only that but guys could be drafted in the 2nd round and then cut. 2nd round picks have no guarateed money.

  • marcusgresham

    If you’re going to enlist the help of the NBA, how about adding this one?
    Any agent caught damaging the amateur status of a player is suspended from negotiating with an NBA team.

  • coachv

    great point

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I knew somebody would “Fred Sanford” me! LOL

    Yeah, I guess that does make sense. I had forgotten about AAU and shoe tournament stuff like IUDan just said. Sorry. Only on my second cup of coffee so far…….I’ll wake up, eventually.

  • hardly

    I like some of these recommendations, but I don’t easily see how it prevents what happened from happening again – the promise of current or future improper benefits for guiding a player either to a school or an agent.

    The major thing I think it does is put the NCAA at the center of certifying non-scholastic events – and the NCAA has proven its ineptitude to monitor anything, so not really sure how this helps.

    I don’t think any athlete that leaves after two years should get a free education – sorry, but as a normal student if I leave as a junior to join a start-up company that fails, I sure don’t get the balance of my education for free. This rule IMO just encourages players leaving with little downside. If a school wants to offer this as a perk for signing with them, fine, but don’t make it mandatory.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    I like that a lot actually. In general, I think the athletes should face the least amount of consequences.

  • Arch Puddington

    This is exactly the point. The NCAA’s ban on players doing anything that benefits them independently — getting paid, hiring agents, etc. — does not stop those things from happening. What it DOES do is drive them into the shadows where unscrupulous agents, shoe company reps, and other nefarious types can peddle their influence without meaningful oversight. And the fact that everyone else involved — coaches, administrators, trainers, etc. — can all do the same things that players cannot just makes the hypocrisy all the more plain. Hiring and agent, getting paid to do endorsements, and all that goes along with big time sports are not inherently criminal. They are made so only by NCAA fiat, and the athletes would be far better served if they were not only allowed to do such things, but were indeed supported by the resources of the multi-billion dollar industry they help create. Instead of criminalizing such practices, the NCAA and its members should develop oversight bodies that could regulate them to ensure (as much as is possible) professional and ethical standards.

  • Donnie Vick

    This seems to me to be where the bulk of the problems lie. Some are saying that the NCAA can’t oversee itself, why should they oversee AAU ball? Maybe NCAA sanctioned events aren’t the answer, but something needs to be done to curtail the shoe companies influence on basketball.

  • TheTruth

    Shorten the NBA season and hold the draft earlier.

  • Guyton25

    These comments so far don’t seem too happy boys. I had a smile the entire time reading this and watching ol Condi speak! End the 1-and-done era of oppression! Any momentum toward that goal is a good thing in my eyes. Bring down the snake Calipari. He’s defecated on the game, and college basketball as a whole, long enough. Left UMass and Memphis in flames and then got his big break with this rule. This isn’t about him though, I know, I just couldn’t help myself, haha.

    I want players to be able to go through the draft and still be able to come back too, and that is also mentioned here. Adam Silver has been very active and vocal since the FBI investigation about moving the age limit to 18, ending the 1-and-doners, also.

    This was some really good coffee this morning!

  • Tyler D

    I hear your point, but Juwan and all the players on the roster get much more than the free education. Coaching and strength and conditioning work with Archie, Bruiser, Ed, Cliff etc. They don’t work for free. Invaluable exposure on National TV. Access to state of the art facilities. These student athletes are compensated extremely well IMO.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I agree, it’s a quid pro quo situation between the student athlete and the university. IU says “You come play for us (and help us generate millions of dollars from fans attending games, buying apparel, watching games on tv, etc.) and we’ll give you a free education, access to state of the art facilities, etc.”.

    It’s a win/win.