Commission recommends sweeping changes to NCAA basketball

April 25, 2018 / Winning Hoops
The Commission on College Basketball has recommended sweeping changes to the game in a 60-page report that was released to the public Wednesday.

Among the most significant suggestions:

  • Ending the one-and-done rule
  • Modifying the relationships between the NCAA and apparel companies
  • Increase penalties against programs and coaches who violate rules, including potential lifetime bans for coaches
  • Allowing student-athletes to return to college if they go undrafted
  • Cooperation between the NCAA and USA Basketball, NBA and NBPA to start a new youth basketball program.

The Commission on College Basketball was created last fall in the wake of the FBI’s probe into corruption in college basketball and recruiting. Several assistant coaches and recruiters were charged, and Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino lost his job.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chaired the commission, which also included Grant Hill and David Robinson.

“We must remember why we are all here,” Rice said. “It is clear the NCAA has often failed to carry out its responsibility to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body. But the NCAA is not really Indianapolis. It is the sum total of its member institutions.

“When those institutions and those responsible for leading them short-circuit rules, ethics and norms in order to achieve on-court success, they alone are responsible. Too often, these individuals hide behind “Indianapolis” when they are the ones most responsible for the degraded state of intercollegiate athletics, in general, and college basketball in particular.”

Ending the one-and-done rule is the most significant recommendation. ESPN reports that the NBA and NBPA are in talks over eliminating the rule, which wouldn’t take place until the 2020 NBA Draft, at the earliest. If those efforts failed, Rice said the commission could examine making freshmen ineligible or “locking a scholarship for three or four years if the recipient leaves a program after one year,” ESPN reported.

Another change, as reported by ESPN:

The commission also addressed the grassroots basketball scene — which Rice called an “ungoverned space” — and apparel companies.

Currently, there are five live periods from April to July in which college coaches can go to watch prospects at events sponsored by Nike, Adidas or Under Armour or are run independently. The commission recommends the NCAA start its own regional events in July, and make them the only events that coaches can attend that month.

The commission also called for the NCAA to work closer with USA Basketball, the NBA and the NBPA to start a new youth basketball program. It’s not yet clear how the governing body would pay for some of the proposals.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said he wants reforms in place by the end of the summer.

Click here to see the complete commission report.