The Big East’s recommendation was made to the NCAA’s commission on college basketball, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (pictured)
The Big East conference has proposed replacing the NBA’s unpopular ‘one-and-done’ rule with a ‘two-or-none’ policy in an effort to stem corruption in college basketball recruiting that has made NCAA programs the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.
The Big East’s recommendations come a week after the Pac-12 conference gave a similar report to the NCAA’s commission on college basketball, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The commission was created in response to that joint FBI-Department of Justice investigation into corruption in college basketball.
The Big East’s plan calls for the elimination of the NBA’s one-and-done rule, which prohibits its teams from drafting players until they are at least 19 or a year removed from high school.
‘Two-or-none’ would be an NCAA policy requiring basketball players who decide to go to college to commit for at least two seasons. Meanwhile, high school players who declare for the NBA draft would forfeit future college eligibility.
NCAA president Mark Emmert has maintained that the organization is against paying players
Many of the NCAA’s top basketball players this season only planned to stay for their freshman year, such as Arizona center Deandre Ayton (right), who already declared for the draft. Other prospects, such as Duke’s Marvin Bagley III (left), actually completed high school in just three years in order to qualify for the NBA Draft more quickly. Bagley is expected to declare for the draft as soon as Duke’s season ends. The Blue Devils face Syracuse in the Sweet 16 on Friday
Theoretically, instead of taking money from college coaches or sneaker company representatives in exchange for the commitment to particular schools, top recruits could simply declare for the NBA draft – something that they have not been able to do since 2005, when the ‘one-and-done’ rule was created.
This would allow the NCAA to maintain its athletes’ amateur status, which has been a major point of emphasis for the organization’s president, Mark Emmert.
In June, NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted the ‘one-and-done’ rule needed to be changed.
‘My sense is it’s not working for anyone,’ Silver said before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. ‘It’s not working for the college coaches and athletic directors I hear from. They’re not happy with the current system. And I know our teams aren’t happy either, in part because they don’t necessarily think the players who are coming into the league are getting the kind of training that they would expect to see.’
NBA commissioner Adam Silver (center) has admitted the ‘one-and-done’ rule needs to be changed because it isn’t working for college basketball programs or the league’s 30 teams
Similar to the Pac-12, the Big East recommended the NCAA and USA Basketball take a larger role in what it calls non-scholastic basketball, the summer camps and AAU teams and leagues that have no affiliation with high schools but often involve shoe and apparel companies.
Many of the NCAA’s top basketball players this season only planned to stay for their freshman year, such as Arizona center Deandre Ayton, who has already declared for the draft. Other prospects, such as Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, actually completed high school in just three years, in order to qualify for the NBA Draft more quickly.
Bagley is expected to declare for the draft as soon as Duke’s season ends. The Blue Devils face Syracuse in the Sweet 16 on Friday night.
The Big East, which is based in Providence, also called for the NCAA to change rules to allow basketball players similar access to agents and advisers that are permitted for hockey and baseball players.
That would benefit a highly-recruited player such as Missouri’s Michael Porter, who missed most of his freshman season because of a back injury. If he were to declare for the draft, and hire an agent, Porter would not be allowed to return to school, even if NBA teams sour on his potential because of his injury.
The Big East proposal would allow Porter to make a more educated decision on his future without risking his eligibility.
Missouri’s Michael Porter missed most of his freshman season because of a back injury. If he were to declare for the draft and hire an agent, Porter would not be allowed to return to school, even if NBA teams sour on his potential because of his injury. The Big East proposal would allow Porter to make a more educated decision on his future without risking his eligibility.
The Big East’s proposed elite player unit (EPU) would concentrate on several areas:
- Pre-collegiate guidance for players in grades eight through 12.
- Managing recruiting events.
- Agent regulation that would create more stringent certification than the NBA and its players’ union currently have in place.
- The EPU would serve as a liaison to the NCAA’s Academic and Membership Affairs division with respect to NCAA legislation on men’s basketball recruiting
- Oversight of the relationship between the NCAA, coaches, schools and apparel companies.
- Ethics and strengthening the code of conduct for coaches in recruiting high school players and potential college transfers.
The so-called Rice Commission is expected to give its reform recommendations to the NCAA board of directors in April.
The NCAA’s commission on college basketball also includes former Navy and San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson, former Duke and Detroit Pistons forward Grant Hill, former Stanford and Cal coach Mike Montgomery, and former Georgetown coach John Thompson III.
Grant Hill, a former Duke star, is working with Condoleeza Rice on the NCAA committee
Former Navy and San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson (left) and former Stanford and Cal coach Mike Montgomery (right) are also on the the NCAA’s commission on college basketball
Former Georgetown coach John Thompson III is a member of the NCAA’s commission on college basketball, which aims to fix corruption and bribery within recruiting circles
After coming close in two of the last three years, the NCAA finally made over $1 billion for the first time, according to an audited report from September 2016 through August 2017.
Officially the NCAA hauled in $1.06 billion, thanks largely to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which netted $761 million in 2017. That figure is set to rise to $869 million this year, according to ESPN.
The NCAA also raked in another $129.4 million in ticket revenue and $60 million in marketing rights.
Under the Big East proposal, top recruits like Deandre Ayton would have a choice of going straight to the NBA or committing to college basketball for two years
The record gross earnings have come with their share of controversy, as many feel the NCAA owes its success to the association’s rule stipulating that ‘student athletes’ cannot be paid a salary or earn money off their likeness.
Ostensibly, a different policy would have precluded the need for the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate bribery and corruption in college basketball recruiting – a probe that has already led to several arrests and the revelation of potential NCAA violations.
‘I haven’t heard any universities say that they want to change amateurism to move into a model where student-athletes are paid by universities and universities are negotiating with agents for their relationships with a school,’ Emmert recently told the Associated Press. ‘I would be surprised if the commission came forward with that kind of recommendation.’
In September the FBI and Department of Justice announced its years-long investigation into college basketball – a probe that has already resulted in three criminal cases, several arrests and the suspension of Louisville freshman Brian Bowen, who has since transferred away from the school.
Two familiar schemes are being investigated: One in which recruits and their families allegedly received bribes in exchange for commitments to specific universities, and another in which player advisers were supposedly paid to persuade the athletes to sign with certain managers, agents, and financial advisers.
As many as three dozen Division I programs might be facing NCAA sanctions after the FBI releases information obtained throughout its investigation, according to a previous report by ESPN. One source told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach that many of the country’s top coaches and players would be implicated by the thousands of conversations, financial records, and other emails obtained when NBA player agency ASM Sports was raided in September.
Under the Big East’s two-and-done proposal, players might still opt to follow in Duke center Marvin Bagley III’s footsteps and finish high school in three years so that they can attend college (in this case, for two years) before declaring for the NBA Draft