NCAA Commission to Target 'Bad Actors' in Basketball

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(Image of Mark Emmert courtesy of the NCAA) (Image of Mark Emmert courtesy of the NCAA)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Indianapolis-based NCAA has launched action it says will remove "bad actors" from college basketball. President Mark Emmert says the organization has created a Commission on College Basketball that will be chaired by Condoleezza Rice in an effort to break the "culture of silence" in the game that has enabled incidents like the recent FBI probe involving alleged corruption by some coaches at high-profile schools.

The NCAA oversees hundreds of sports programs throughout the country and Emmert said in a statement "the recent news of a federal investigation into fraud in college basketball made it very clear the NCAA needs to make substantive changes to the way we operate, and do so quickly. Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here." He adds "the vast majority of coaches follow the rules," but says the NCAA needs to take decisive action. "This is not a time for half-measures or incremental change," he continued.

The commission will include higher education, college sports, government and business officials and focus on relationships among the NCAA, member institutions, student-athletes, coaches and outside entities. More specifically, its will examine:

  • 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 advisors, 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.

The NCAA expected the commission to start up in November and deliver legislative, policy and structural change recommendations at board meetings in April.

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