NCAA adopts college basketball reforms

The NCAA approved sweeping college basketball reforms Wednesday, including letting undrafted players return to the school.

The changes, which are based off recommendations made by the Rice Commission in the wake of a corruption scandal, were approved by the NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors.

Besides allowing undrafted players to return to school, one of the other biggest changes allows high school recruits to be represented by agents certified by the NCAA while still playing.

The NCAA is also overhauling the organization’s process for investigating and resolving cases involving potential rules violations.

The new system sets up one group that will include external investigators and select NCAA enforcement staff to conduct investigations. A second group — consisting of 15 people with backgrounds in law, education and sports with no connections to NCAA schools or conferences — will then review the first group’s findings, conduct hearings and decide upon any necessary penalties.

Other changes include more rigorous certification for summer basketball events and increased penalties for college coaches who break rules.

The Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in October 2017 and made its recommendations in late April.

The NCAA put together the commission a few weeks after prosecutors announced they had charged 10 men, including four assistant college coaches and a top Adidas executive in a fraud and bribery scandal.

“These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes over every other factor,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.