The NCAA announced new rules that will heavily impact the NBA Draft process for its basketball players.
The most notable rules are the following:
- “Elite” prospects will be eligible to hire NCAA-approved agents
- Players that go undrafted in the NBA draft may return to school
These are fairly monumental changes. The NCAA used to view signing an agent and/or going through the NBA draft process as what officially made a player a professional, losing amateur status and NCAA eligibility. Now, that is no longer the case.
I think the no-brainer good move with which nobody will take umbrage is the move to allow undrafted players to go back to college. Players shouldn’t have to risk eligibility if they only have a small chance to make it onto an NBA team, but want to go through the process.
Teaching prospects what the process entails will also help them prepare more professionally if they do go back to school, because they’ll have a better idea of what is being looked for by NBA scouts.
The slightly more eyebrow-raising move is the one to allow “elite” prospects to hire agents. I’m, personally, in favor of it, but I suppose I understand the apprehension to have college players, who are supposed to be “amateurs” (and also don’t make a salary), hiring agents.
My stance on that front is that players have always been hiring agents under the table anyway. At least now, there can be better rules in place for it to be regulated, and the fact that the agent must be NCAA-approved means that, theoretically, less college kids will be burned or scammed by shady agents. That is a good thing. I’m not sure how rampant an issue it was for agents to be screwing over their college-aged clients, but if it was happening at all, it is much less likely to happen now.
I think the biggest question of these new rules is that of what makes a prospect “elite”? How many high school and college athletes will be eligible to hire agents? Who determines which players make the cut?
Supposedly the NBA and USA Basketball were not included in this decision made by the NCAA, which is also causing issues with those organizations.
The bottom line is that it feels like the NCAA is doing the right thing and taking a step in the right direction for its athletes, many of whom are not ready to be in a position to make huge decision for themselves. It sounds like they went about it wrong, which is typical of the NCAA, but overall I cannot sit here and knock the move.
Featured Image via Flickr/Beaverbasketball