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Volume 25 No. 63
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New NCAA Rules Could Hurt Las Vegas Tournaments, Small Schools

July events in Vegas have historically helped to bolster the recruitment of low and mid-major D-I players
Photo: getty images

New NCAA basketball rules could mean summer tournaments like the high-profile ones hosted in Las Vegas, the "mecca of grassroots in July for more than 30 years," will "no longer have a role in recruitment of prospective college athletes," according to Sam Gordon of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Independent teams that "aren't affiliated with a shoe brand also won't have the platform that Las Vegas can offer when college coaches come to town to watch Nike, Adidas and Under Armour teams." July events in Las Vegas have "historically helped to bolster the recruitment" of low- and mid-major D-I players and "provided showcase opportunities" for D-II and D-III caliber players as well. Dinos Trigonis, who runs several basketball camps, said, "Without having the (college) coaches there, and any of the revenue associated with the coaches, specifically the packets, it's risky to have an event in Las Vegas" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/10). In N.Y., Zach Braziller writes under the header, "NCAA Rule Changes Could Hurt Smaller Schools." Allowing players to be "represented by agents and to return to school if they go undrafted was significant." But the "best of the best are still taken care of, the blue-blood programs and the five-star recruits who frequent those schools," while the "unheralded ones, lose out" (N.Y. POST, 8/10). 

WORK TO BE DONE: NBCSPORTS.com's Kurt Helin noted the response around the NBA to the new NCAA rules has been "lukewarm" regarding "agents, player visits, and the ability of a few players to return to college after going undrafted." While a few things were "obvious and welcome," the NBA and USA Basketball were "caught off guard by the announcement." Many details are still "yet to be worked out." The "bottom line" with this is that the NCAA "jumped the gun to try to get a public relations win" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/9).

REVIEWS ARE IN: The AP's Tim Dahlberg wrote the latest move by the NCAA shows the organization can "move quickly when their golden goose is threatened." It all "sounds good, a tidy package of giveaways designed to solve some of the more pressing issues facing college basketball." In all, the new rules are "mostly common sense efforts to try and fix a system that is badly broken." But they are "incremental at best, and come only because of the FBI probe that threatens to further expose the dirty laundry of college basketball" (AP, 8/9). In Boston, Gary Washburn writes the NCAA "deserves credit for at least trying," yet it all "seems so self-serving, as if the intent of the changes was to benefit the institution itself and not the student-athlete." It is "easy -- too easy, in fact -- to criticize anything the NCAA does because it has become such an antiquated organization." But "credit the NCAA with finally giving these young athletes additional options" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/10). THE ATHLETIC's John Infante noted the NCAA "looks like it has an enforcement process that is up to the task" of handling what comes out of the FBI's college basketball investigation "in a timely manner." It also has an "enforcement process that looks more capable" of dealing with Michigan State's responsibility for Larry Nassar. For a long time, it looked like the NCAA was going to "muddle along by rearranging the deck chairs on the normal enforcement process and dispensing with it in favor of an ad-hoc one when the situation called for it." The NCAA did not "create a perfect system, but it did create an enforcement program that looks much more informed by the real world" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/9).