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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2018

Commission suggests NCAA ban cheaters, end one-and-done

By Justin Webster | Apr 25, 2018

An independent panel led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested sweeping reforms for NCAA basketball, most notably calling for an end to the one-and-done rule and harsh penalties for rule-breakers.

The Commission for College Basketball, chaired by Rice, released its recommendations in a 60-page report on Wednesday.

“We need to put the college back in college basketball,” Rice said of the commission’s outlook, per ESPN. “Our focus has been to strengthen the collegiate model -- not to move toward one that brings aspects of professionalism into the game.”

The NCAA will take the recommendations into consideration, president Mark Emmert said in a statement, adding that he hopes to have changes in place by August.

“The NCAA appreciates the thorough review and comprehensive work by the Commission on College Basketball,” Emmert said. “The Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors will now review the independent commission’s recommendations to determine the appropriate next steps.”

The one-and-done rule is actually an NBA rule, but Rice is adamant that it should be ended. Kentucky coach John Calipari, who has had more one-and-dones than any coach since the rule was enacted, publicly pushed for the change earlier this week.

Rice suggests if the rule isn’t changed, the NCAA may have to add its own rules -- perhaps barring freshmen from playing or making the scholarship of a player who leaves early unavailable after they leave.

“We support NCAA policy and enforcement reforms that will better safeguard the well-being of players while imposing greater accountability on representatives and programs that fail to uphold the values of the game,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA head Michele Roberts said in a joint statement on Wednesday. “We also share the commission’s concern with the current state of youth basketball and echo that all stakeholders -- including the NBA, NBPA, NCAA, and USA Basketball -- have a collective responsibility to help bring about positive change.”

The 12-person commission also called for independent investigations into rule-breaking and cheating in college programs, pushing for stiffer penalties -- possibly including lifetime bans -- for offenders.

The panel was formed in response to an FBI investigation into fraud and corruption in college basketball, which saw arrests at several programs and led to the firing of Rick Pitino at Louisville.

“Currently, the rewards for violating the rules far outweigh the risks,” said Rice.

The influence of apparel companies like Adidas, which had two people arrested in the probe, was also a subject of the commission. The panel called for the flow of funds from shoe companies to schools and players to be more transparent.

“It’s time that money flowing from apparel companies and other third parties into non-scholastic basketball be disclosed and accounted for in order to address the corruption we see in the sport,” Rice said.

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