A new NCAA committee, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has been formed to make “substantive changes to the way we operate” college basketball, the organization announced on Wednesday.
The Commission on College Basketball is a response to the recent federal investigation into fraud in college basketball. NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a release that an overhaul in policy, structural and legislative were needed, including possibility changing eligibility rules as it relates to the NBA’s minimum age rule.
“While I believe the vast majority of coaches follow the rules, the culture of silence in college basketball enables bad actors, and we need them out of the game,” Emmert said. “We must take decisive action. This is not a time for half-measures or incremental change.”
Emmert said the committee will focus on three areas:
▪ The relationship of the NCAA national office, member institutions, student-athletes and coaches with outside entities, including:
Apparel companies and other commercial entities, to establish an environment where they can support programs in a transparent way, but not become an inappropriate or distorting influence on the game, recruits or their families.
Nonscholastic basketball, with a focus on the appropriate involvement of college coaches and others.
Agents or advisers, with an emphasis on how students and their families can get legitimate advice without being taken advantage of, defrauded or risk their NCAA eligibility.
▪ The NCAA’s relationship with the NBA, and the challenging effect the NBA’s so-called “one and done” rule has had on college basketball, including how the NCAA can change its own eligibility rules to address that dynamic.
▪ Creating the right relationship between the universities and colleges of the NCAA and its national office to promote transparency and accountability. The commission will be asked to evaluate whether the appropriate degree of authority is vested in the current enforcement and eligibility processes, and whether the collaborative model provides the investigative tools, cultural incentives and structures to ensure exploitation and corruption cannot hide in college sports.
Four assistant basketball coaches were among 10 people charged with bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes, honest serves fraud conspiracy, honest service fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and Travel Act conspiracy.
The coaches were Auburn’s Chuck Person, Arizona’s Emanual Richardson, Southern California’s Tony Bland and Oklahoma State’s LaMont Evans.
On Wednesday, Oklahoma State received a subpoena from a New York grand jury asking for all documents and communications regarding “actual or potential NCAA rules violations” by players and coaches of the men’s basketball team, The Oklahoman reported.
Joon Kim, acting U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York, said the alleged bribery scheme involved talent advisers and managers bribing the four college coaches to direct recruits and their families to sign with them.
Person and Richardson have been suspended by their respective schools, and Evans was fired from Oklahoma State.