Breakdown: NCAA Changes – Agents, Returning To College, Degree Completion


Posted On: 08/9/18 3:37 PM

On Wednesday, the NCAA released their changes to their rules. In reality, it is a sweeping reform that touches a lot of different areas but really might not effect as much as they might have intended.  Some of these are for the better, most are not or ineffective. 

With a lot of these geared towards high school and entry level to college, we decided to take a massive look at these new rules and regulations and give our take on what to expect and if there is any real backing for them in this multi-part series.

The rules listed below are as stated in the press release from the NCAA.

Agent Representation

New Rule: Pending a decision by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, high school basketball players can be represented by an agent beginning July 1 before their senior year in high school, provided they have been identified as an elite senior prospect by USA Basketball.

College basketball players can be represented by an agent beginning after any basketball season if they request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.

Agents can pay for meals and transportation for players and their families if the expenses are related to the agent selection process. Also, the student cannot miss class, and the money must be spent where the student lives or attends school. Additionally, high school and college student-athletes and their families can have meals, transportation and lodging paid for by an agent if those expenses are associated with meetings with the agent or a pro team. – NCAA

What It Means: So, this might be the one drawing the most controversy, mainly because of the way it was presented and their lack of communication with the NBA, NBPA, and USA Basketball.  So, the essentials are that you can have an agent but it won’t start until the NBA changes the one-and-done rule. Then, and only then, can you have an agent but you must be selected by one of the aforementioned organizations as an “elite” prospect.  Even after that, you have to abide by their very vague rules regarding how much money and things agents can provide for prospects.  

Really, this won’t effect those few prospects that are deemed elite and the word is that it won’t even go into effect until 2022 at the earliest. Even then, this will likely not be followed well by agents and players. The vague wording on what is reasonable to give a player will have to be massively cleaned up.  

Thoughts are this is a big deal but not really.  It doesn’t effect many and won’t come into play for so long that it might not even make it to the next round of reforms.

Returning To College

New Rule: College basketball players who request an Undergraduate Advisory Committee evaluation, participate in the NBA combine and aren’t drafted can return to school as long as they notify their athletics director of their intent by 5 p.m. the Monday after the draft. – NCAA

What It Means: This is a very interesting rule but again, it is more of a CYA move by the NCAA rather than a helpful tool. However, this could be a test case that could be expanded down the road.  The biggest problem you have right now is that it only effects such a small amount of people.  You will have to be invited to the NBA Draft Combine in order to get that opportunity.  Now, the NCAA came back out and clarified more today that if you choose to return to school but your spot is filled, you would have to redshirt and wouldn’t be allowed to transfer to a different program.  That makes little to no sense and would effectively halt the recruiting process for colleges of players that are leaving early as they might have that chance to bring their player back but wouldn’t want to oversign either. This will have to be worked out but with some adjustments could be helpful down the road.

Degree Completion

New Rule: Division I schools will be required to pay for tuition, fees and books for basketball players who leave school and return later to the same school to earn their degree. Former student-athletes will be eligible for financial assistance to complete their first degree if they were on scholarship and fewer than 10 years have passed since they left school. Additionally, students must have been in school for two years before leaving. Former student-athletes also must meet all the school’s admissions and financial aid requirements and must have exhausted all other funding options to be eligible, as well as meet all NCAA academic requirements. – NCAA

What It Means: This is something that a good amount of schools were already doing, building in for their student athletes that if they move on to become a professional, they will be able to return to school later and finish their degree without forfeiting their scholarship. Now, the NCAA will essentially make this mandatory for every school.