NCAA's new proposed rules blindsides NBA, USA Basketball officials

Slow clap to the NCAA for inching some rules toward the realities of college basketball.

The rule changes are aimed at giving basketball student-athletes more flexibility for going pro and also earning a degree.

The NCAA on Wednesday announced sweeping changes regarding college basketball eligibility, agents and other reforms in response to both the FBI investigation into alleged college basketball corruption previous year and the April recommendations by the Commission on College Basketball.

For players to take advantage of this change, they would need to declare for the draft, request an undergraduate advisory committee evaluation from the National Basketball Association and be invited to participate in the National Basketball Association combine. And, the rule change allows for players who declare for the NBA Draft that have eligibility still remaining at their respective programs to return back to their team if they're not selected.

Pending a decision by the NBA and its players' union, high school players can be represented by an agent beginning July 1 before their senior year, if the player has been identified as an elite senior prospect by USA Basketball.

- Prospective player agents must be "certified by an NCAA program with standards for behavior and consequences for violations". This change depends on cooperation with the NBA and NBA Players Association.

Some of the changes go into effect immediately.

Universities are required to report athletics-related income from outside sources. Dan Gavitt, the NCAA's senior vice president for basketball, said event operators will have to "meet a much higher bar in order to be able to run those events".

No schools were mentioned, but two Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, one in September and another in April, have identified recruiting practices that violate NCAA rules involving prospects who wound up at several schools, including Kansas. NCAA cases now can draw upon information obtained through other entities, such as government agencies, which will speed up the process of investigating issues.

The NCAA is taking steps to try to clean up college basketball, carving out a limited role for agents to work with players and changing pivotal parts of its rules-enforcement system as part of numerous reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.