University of Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson said Wednesday that he thought an NCAA reform allowing players that enter the NBA Draft and participate in the Draft Combine to return to school if they go undrafted was “generally a positive move,” although he added that he needed more time to review the entire package of proposals.
“I’m generally in favor of anything that allows our student-athletes an opportunity to continue their education,” Johnson said. “The rest of the proposals, I’ll have to look at more closely.”
Other changes announced by the NCAA on Wednesday allow what it defines as “elite players” to retain agents beginning when they are in high school, changing the basketball recruiting calendar to allow April access and proposing “stiffer penalties” for rule breakers. Broader amateurism issues were not addressed.
Johnson said he was disappointed that a proposal which would have allowed two additional staff members to have on-the-floor coaching duties was not addressed.
The changes reflect in part some of the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission. That commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI investigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches and other individuals in return for steering players to certain schools.
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