NCAA Announces Major College Basketball Rule Changes, Including Allowing Undrafted Players to Return to School

By James Grega on August 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA dropped a bombshell in regards to college basketball on Wednesday, announcing that players who go undrafted will be allowed to return to school for another season. 

The rule is just one of many that the NCAA announced Wednesday afternoon, the majority of which have to deal with NBA draft eligibility.

In addition to allowing undrafted players to return to college if they so choose, the NCAA also announced that certain high school and college athletes that are defined as "elite" prospects will be allowed to hire an agent on July 1 before their senior year of high school. This new rule, however, is pending a decision by the NBA that would allow high school players to once again become eligible for the draft. 

College players can be represented by an agent following any basketball season if they request and get approval from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. That rule has gone into effect immediately.

Other rules regarding agents can be read below from the NCAA statement:

Agents can pay for expenses

Agents can pay for meals and transportation for players and their families if the expenses are related to the agent selection process. Also, the student cannot miss class, and the money must be spent where the student lives or attends school. Additionally, high school and college student-athletes and their families can have meals, transportation and lodging paid for by an agent if those expenses are associated with meetings with the agent or a pro team.

These changes are subject to revisions to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act and relevant state laws. If/when those are changed, the new rules are effective immediately.

Agent agreements

All agreements between agents and high school or college student-athletes must be:

  • In writing.
  • Terminated when the student enrolls in or returns to college.
  • Disclosed to the NCAA (for high school students) or the school (for students already in college).

This change is effective immediately.

Agent certification

To work with a high school or college athlete, agents must be certified by an NCAA program with standards for behavior and consequences for violations. Family members of the high school recruit or college athlete or those who act solely on behalf of a professional sports team aren’t required to be certified.

The deadline for agents to become certified is undetermined but will not be later than Aug. 1, 2020. Until then, NBPA-certified agents will be considered NCAA certified.

The NCAA also announced that players who decide to return to school after going undrafted will have their "tuition, fees and books" paid for by the program they return to. That rule change will go into effect in August 2019.

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