For years, student athletes, coaches, university leadership, and the NCAA have debated how college athletics should be handled – in just about every aspect. One of the more controversial topics in recent years is the notion that players should be able to receive compensation for their athletic pursuits. This is illegal of course, but in the wake of investigations into major universities in the past couple of years, we know that plenty of this goes on.
With so much controversy around this subject, the NCAA surprised many this week, when they announced that elite college basketball players would be allowed to hire an agent for their pre-drafting process, as well as return to college (maintaining all of their financial aid) if they were to go undrafted.
This is a far cry from being paid to play, but it does begin to raise some interesting questions as the NCAA relaxes on their policies more and more.
How do we protect student athletes who may be entering the draft from those that might take advantage of them? Since agents will now be able to contact them before gaining pro status, there is far more at stake for the athlete in this stage.
How do we ensure that potential agents aren’t creating full financial relationships with their potential client? While the NCAA has said that agents will be allowed to pay for meals and travel expenses during this stage, how can they ensure this is the only financial support the student athlete is given?
How are academics encouraged when a student could choose to leave or return at any time? With the ability to come and go as they please, how can a coach or advisor encourage a student athlete to be diligent in their studies?
On the flip side…
Are these relaxed rules good for those student athletes who will benefit from them? With more flexibility in these regulations, could this make things easier for student athletes and college athletic programs alike?
Will this allow more college basketball players to continue their education if they were to go undrafted? Instead of having to be absolutely sure, student athletes could now participate in the draft with the ability to go back to school if they so choose.
Could this help student athletes who need guidance when entering the draft? Navigating the drafting process can be daunting. With the ability to hire an agent, this could help many student athletes walk through the process much more smoothly.
Both sides of the argument are valid and provide a lot to think about. Our biggest passion at CPI is student success, now and for the future. The solution – or regulations that provide that – is what counts most to us.
But, we want to know what YOU think! Are you in favor of the new NCAA regulations? Are you against them? Tell us why in the comments below!