The NCAA announced major news about changes in eligibility rules for college basketball stars today. Of course, in classic NCAA fashion, the roll-out has left a lot to be desired.
Among the changes that are supposedly coming: a pre-selected group of "elite" players will be allowed to have agents, players will be able to return to college if they go undrafted, and recruits can go on more official visits.
Many of the changes are a move in the right direction. However, the agents rule has invited a ton of questions.
The NCAA was set to make USA Basketball the body that determines which players are eligible to sign with agents while in college. Apparently, USA Basketball didn't get the memo ahead of time.
John Calipari has echoed those sentiments about the new NCAA college basketball rules.
Calipari, who is a defining figure of the "one-and-done" era, is usually welcoming of pro-player reforms. Some of these are half-measures, but they do seem to be taking things in the direction that many want college hoops to go, while stopping well short of player compensation.
The rules also don't clarify how USA Basketball would deal with foreign-born players playing in the NCAA, like No. 1 2018 recruit RJ Barrett, a Duke enrollee from Canada, who is undoubtedly an "elite" prospect.
Calipari raised that specific point, while speaking to ZagsBlog's Adam Zagoria from the Bahamas.
“I’m here in the Bahamas and the CEO of USA Basketball, Jim Tooley, is here and he’s like saying, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute,'” Calipari said. “We deal with one of the one-percenters. We don’t deal with foreign players. We’re not, USA Basketball, in a position to try to say who gets an agent and who does not, and he’s willing to do summer stuff, but not himself. He wants to be with others. He wants to collaborate with NBA, with the NCAA, with the Players Association, USA together. So there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be worked out.”
He also says that the rules may not be able to take effect until the NBA acts, and that it isn't worth freaking out over just yet.
“None of this goes into effect until the NBA and the Players Association come up with something, and I’m hearing it won’t be until 2022,” Calipari said Wednesday night on ESPN from the Bahamas, where the Wildcats will play four games between Aug. 8-12. “So we’re probably wasting our breath dealing with the ins and outs of this.”
Today's announcement should have been welcomed as a win for the NCAA, even if it is not nearly as progressive as many hope college sports get in the end. Instead, the questionable roll-out and lack of communication with the other bodies involved just has people confused.