The NCAA announced several rule changes to college basketball on Wednesday, the most impactful of which will change how student-athletes can begin a professional sports career.
Under previous rules, student-athletes were not allowed to return to their college sports teams after declaring for the NBA draft. As part of the rule changes, players that declare for the draft but are not selected can return to their college teams.
The students will be allowed to remain with their college team, if they choose not to pursue a career in the NBA G-League or any overseas basketball league, pending further action from the NBA.
College basketball players will now also be allowed to seek agent representation, which they were previously not allowed to do. Agents can become a crucial part of the players’ decision to declare for the draft and help them navigate potential endorsement and sponsorship contracts.
The players will need to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee in order to receive permission to sign with an agent. High school players that want to sign with an agent before reaching college have to be identified as an “elite senior prospect” by the USA Basketball organization to avoid losing college eligibility.
Included in the rules that qualify whether or not a player can sign with an agent, there are a complicated set of rules on what qualifies an agent under NCAA rules, so players will be limited to professional representation.
Other rule changes to college basketball include an increased number of official college visits, meaning visits that the college funds, for prospective players and allowing students’ agents to pay for transportation and meals pertaining to college visits.
The rule changes were reportedly not discussed with the NBA or USA Basketball, both of which are crucial to the success of the rule changes.
Featured Image via: Flickr/Chris Kuga