WELL GOOD MORNING NCAA! I personally have railed against the NCAA for a very, very long time, but I will give credit where credit is due. This is a very progressive move by them, and *should* help weed out some of the issues that arose following the FBI Probe.
There are a few points to look at here, so let’s break them down.
1). Players can take earlier and more official visits:
The least newsworthy of the group, this was likely going to happen anyway. However, this does help the student-athletes better decide what school is best for them, because they can visit the schools more than two or three times.
2). D1 schools must give scholarships to players who leave early so they can finish their degree:
One of my major qualms with the one-and-done rule was that the players lose their scholarships when they leave. Sure, by the end of their career’s most players can afford to come back to school, but what about the ones who can’t? Previously, if a rookie came into the NBA and destroyed his knee, he didn’t always have the option to return to school, and now they do. Personally, this is my favorite of the rule changes, because it shows that the NCAA may actually care.
3). Undrafted players can return to school (pending NBA approval):
Another big change, this helps everyone. This allows players to continue their career and education if they choose to. A large problem with the NBA (and NFL) is that too many kids leave school early. Sure, some get picked, but a whole lot more end up falling through the cracks, and have to go overseas or give up the game entirely. Malik Newman, of Kansas fame, recently went undrafted and has been bouncing around on two-way contracts. It definitely raises the question of if he would return given the opportunity. An important thing to note regarding this rule change is stated in the tweet below:
4). Players can have AGENTS (well, elite players can):
Likely the biggest change to the rules. I never, ever, thought I would see this day. The NCAA is finally allowing players to have people, besides their families, to look out for them. Sure, it is just for upper-end players, but you gotta think this is being done as a trial run. Plus, the agents have to be approved by the NCAA. This means no, “my uncle, the agent” type bull. These guys should, in theory, have the athletes best interests at heart.
This is likely the only nice thing I will write about the NCAA for a little bit, but hey, they did good today. Maybe they will prove me wrong and keep making changes in the right direction.