The College Basketball Commission shares recommendations for the NCAA



INDIANAPOLIS – The College Basketball Commission clearly ordered the NCAA to take control of the sport, requesting extensive reforms to minimize the fact of allowing players to return to school after not being selected by the NBA and prohibiting them from fraudulent trainers The independent commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, published a 60-page detailed report on Wednesday, seven months after the group was formed by the NCAA in response to a federal corruption investigation that rocked basketball academic. Ten people, including some badistant coaches, have been charged in a bribery and bribery scheme, and high-profile programs like Arizona, Louisville and Kansas have been linked to possible NCAA violations.

"The members of this committee come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but the only thing they share in common is that they think it's worth saving the college basketball company," Rice told the AP. "We think there is a lot of work to be done in that sense, that the state of the game is not very strong."

"We had to be bold in our recommendations. "

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report even before Rice presented her findings to key NCAA officials, it is not yet clear how the governing body would pay for some of the proposals, and some of the panel's key recommendations. would require the cooperation of the NBA, its players' union and USA Basketball 19659002] The commission offered tough badessments of the NCAA's toothless application, as well as the turbulent summer basketball circuit that includes AAU leagues and brings together agents, companies of clothing and coaches that seek to take advantage of the prodigies of adolescents, a mixture of perverse incentives to cheat, "and that responsibility for the current mess reaches the university presidents.

The group recommended that the NCAA have more participation with the players before arriving at the university and less involved with the application. He also acknowledged that the NCAA will need help making some changes and defended his amateurism model, saying that paying players a salary is not the answer.

"The goal should not be to convert college basketball into another professional league," the commission wrote in its report.

Rice was scheduled to present the commission's report to the NCAA Board of Governors and the Division I Board of Directors on Wednesday morning. The two groups of university presidents planned to meet after Rice's presentation to consider adopting the commission's recommendations. If adopted, the hard work of converting the recommendations into NCAA legislation begins.

NCAA President Mark Emmert has said he wants reforms to be implemented by August. The commission does it too. And he wants to review the NCAA implementation plans before the committees approve them.

The 12-member commission consisting of university administrators and former coaches and players was tasked with finding ways to reform five areas: NBA draft rules, including the age limit of the league that has led to the calls round-trip players; the relationship between players and agents; non-school basketball, such as AAU, aimed at raising the profile of recruits; participation of clothing companies with players, coaches and schools; and the application of the NCAA.

NCAA officials mostly stayed out of the process. Emmert and Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson were part of the commission, but were not included in the executive sessions when the proposals were formed. The commission spent 70 percent of its time in the executive session, Rice said, and kept its work secret until Wednesday.

The general message for those in college athletics: take responsibility for the problems you have created.

For the issue of unique players, the commission emphasized the need for elite players to have more options when choosing between college and professional basketball, and to separate the two tracks.

The commission called on the NBA and its badociation players to change the rules that require players to be at least 19 years of age and a year before graduating from high school to be eligible for the draw. The rule was implemented in 2006, despite the success of high school stars such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. However, the commission said that if the NBA and the NBPA refuse to change their rules in time for the next basketball season, they would meet and consider other options for the NCAA, such as making first-year students ineligible or closing one. scholarship for three or four years. if the receiver leaves a program after only one year.

"One and ready has to go one way or another," Rice told the AP, expressing hope that the NBA would act.

The commission decided not to try to reflect the rules for baseball but said it could reconsider. Major leagues eliminate high school players, but once an athlete goes to college he is not eligible to be recruited until after his junior year. Baseball players can also return for their final seasons after being recruited, as long as they do not sign professional contracts.

The commission took a portion of the baseball model and recommended basketball players to try the professional market in high school or after any college season, while maintaining college eligibility. If recruitment is not done, a college player may still be eligible as long as he requests an NBA badessment and returns to the same school. Players could still leave the university for professional careers after one year, but the rules would not force them to do so.

In terms of enforcement, the commission recommended tougher penalties for offenders and that the NCAA outsources the investigation and adjudication of more serious infractions. Level I infractions will be punishable by a postseason ban of up to five years and the loss of all postseason income during the time of the ban. That could be worth tens of millions for the main conference schools. In comparison, recent cases of Level I infractions involving Louisville and Syracuse basketball resulted in year-long postseason bans.

In those cases, then-Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who was later fired after being linked to the FBI investigation, received a five-game suspension from the NCAA for infractions involving an badistant coach hiring strippers for recruits , and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was suspended for nine games for academic misconduct and additional benefit violations. The commission said that the suspensions should be longer, until a full season.

Instead of showing cause orders, which are intended to limit a coach's ability to work in college sports after breaking the NCAA rules, the report called for bans for life. The commission also said that coaches and administrators should be contractually bound to comply with NCAA investigations.

Regarding agents, the commission proposed that the NCAA create a program for certifying agents and make them accessible to high school players through their university careers. 19659002] The committee also addressed the issue of AAU and summer leagues, saying that the NCAA, with the support of the NBA and USA Basketball, should organize their own recruiting events for prospects during the summer and take a more serious approach to certify events that I do not control.

The NCAA should demand greater transparency of finances than it called non-school basketball events and prohibit its coaches from badisting those who do not comply with a more rigorous investigation, according to the report. Such a ban could eliminate the AAU events that have flourished by showing future talent.

The commission also called for greater financial transparency of footwear and apparel companies such as Nike, Under Armor and Adidas. These companies have extensive financial relationships with colleges and coaches worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and Adidas had two former executives accused by federal prosecutors in New York in the corruption case.

The commission also called the university presidents, saying that administrators can & # 39; He should be allowed to turn a blind eye to infractions.

To that end, the commission said university presidents should be required to "certify annually that they have done due diligence and that their athletic programs meet NCAA standards."

The commission recommended to the Board of Governors of the NCAA, currently composed of 16 university presidents and rectors, to include five public members with full voting privileges who are not currently employed as university leaders.

Finally, the commission admonished those in college sports who use the NCAA as scapegoats for problems in basketball, saying that colleges and people are responsible for keeping the game fair.

"When those institutions and those responsible for bringing them to short-circuit rules, ethics and standards in order to achieve success on the court, only they are responsible," the commission wrote. "Too often, these individuals hide behind the NCAA when they are most responsible for the degraded state of intercollegiate athletics, in general, and college basketball in particular."

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