The FBI investigation into NCAA practices sent college athletics into panic mode, and the fallout from those Federal findings is finally being implemented.
The NCAA announced important rule changes this week, specifically in the areas of recruiting, undrafted players and student-athlete rights.
Here are the most significant changes implemented by the NCAA.
NCAA rule change #1
Elite high school basketball recruits and college players can be represented by an agent who can help them make more informed decisions about going pro.
NCAA rule change #2
Agents must be certified by an NCAA program with standards for behavior and consequences for violations.
NCAA rule change #3
Student-athletes will be able to participate in the NBA Draft and return to school if undrafted, pending future action from the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.
Currently, college athletes who are interested in going pro can declare for the draft and attend the NBA combine, but must withdraw no more than ten days after the combine to stay eligible.
The NCAA player recruitment calendar is also getting a complete overhaul and under the new guidelines, school presidents and chancellors will also be on the hook if coaches and players don't abide by the rules.
According to ESPN, the NBA and USA Basketball were "blindsided" by these rule changes, specifically the timing of their implementation.
"The NCAA launched a commission and set of subcommittees to address the fallout from the FBI investigation into the college basketball industry, resulting in several policy shifts, including the assigning of responsibility to USA Basketball for something the organization had already told the NCAA it wanted no part: bearing responsibility for selecting elite senior high school prospects who will be allowed to sign with registered agents.
USA Basketball doesn't have the infrastructure or interest in accepting the role of evaluating the nation's top prospects for a yet-to-be-determined number of players who will annually be allowed to sign with agents at the end of their junior years, sources told ESPN.
USA Basketball prefers that the NBA make those decisions, sources said."
Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that these changes feel more like a PR stunt than actual change, stating that it doesn't address the "core issues" of how the NCAA runs its athletic programs.
Overall, these new rules benefit and protect the players, especially those allowed to return to school after going undrafted. Unfortunately, for certain college athletes, these changes only apply to basketball.
Everyone else is shit outta luck for now, or until the FBI does a deep dive into college football and other major money-making NCAA sports.
H/T CBS Sports