The NCAA on Wednesday announced a series of new basketball policy changes and rules aimed at cleaning up the game following the FBI investigation that rocked the sport last year. The new basketball policy changes come from recommendations made by the Committee on College Basketball that was led by Condelizza Rice. The changes focus on three core areas basketball, enforcement, and a category the NCAA has dubbed “outside voices”. “These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes over every other factor.” NCAA leads said in a joint statement.
So what do some of the major basketball policy changes entail?
Current student-athletes will now be able to be represented by an agent beginning at the conclusion of the season. The new rules also allow for student-athletes who declare for the NBA Draft but are not selected, to return to school as long as the student-athlete notifies his athletic director by no later than 5 p.m. the Monday following the Draft. Institutions will now also be required to pay tuition, fees, and books for athletes wishing to return to school and complete their degrees.
The NCAA also announced a new investigation process that will see the creation of independent groups. These independent investigators will handle cases that are deemed complex in order to help eliminate any potential conflict of interest. Schools, members of the Committee of Infractions, or members of the NCAA enforcement staff will be able to request that a case is deemed complex. Once a party request a case be deemed complex, the case will be sent to the Infractions Referral Committee. If the Infractions Referral Committee, a five-person committee, determines the case is indeed complex it will be turned over to the Complex Case Unit. From that point, the Complex Case Unit will conduct an investigation and share its findings with the Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel. The 15-member Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel will then review the Complex Case Unit’s findings and make a ruling.
Additionally, on Wednesday the NCAA also announced new penalties including longer postseason bans, longer suspensions, more recruiting restrictions, and fines. University Presidents and Chancellors will also be held more accountable. “Presidents and chancellors join all athletics staff members in affirming the athletics program meets obligations for monitoring rules compliance, which is required to be eligible for the postseason. Also, schools are required to cooperate fully during NCAA investigations and take appropriate corrective action.”