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NFHS Responds to Rice Commission Report on College Basketball

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           Contact: Bruce Howard

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 25, 2018) — In response to the Rice Commission Report on College Basketball, NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner offers the following comments on some of the suggestions from the Commission, particularly those that would impact the 51 NFHS member state associations and the high school basketball community.

 

NFHS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BOB GARDNER COMMENTS

ON RICE COMMISSION REPORT ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL

 

First, the NFHS commends the NCAA and the Rice Commission for its thoughtful examination of the status of NCAA Division I men’s basketball and its recommendations to provide meaningful changes. Overall, we believe the Rice Commission offered some suggestions that will improve the collegiate model.

The specialness of college basketball is not just that it is “amateur,” but also that it is “education-based.”  We agree with the Rice Commission that both attributes are important to the game’s future. Preserving and promoting the education-based aspect of the game calls for the high school and college levels to support one another.

As the NCAA considers implementation of these proposals, however, we have concerns in some areas and urge that thought be given to the high school landscape. As an example, we are concerned that “certified agents” meeting with high school student-athletes could be disruptive to high school teams. Although we understand the need to have all college prospects obtain information regarding their potential, the high school community should be involved in determining when and where this would be promoted.

Another concern from the Commission’s report is the June evaluation period for “scholastic” events. We would like to see what roles our member state associations and high school coaches would play in that evaluation period. Further, we still believe that limiting recruiting to the high school season would be the most effective tool in eliminating the unsavory outside influencers.

We support the requirements of education as a part of non-scholastic events and that participation in such events require students making appropriate academic progress towards initial college eligibility.

We look forward to working with the NCAA to bring about important change.

 

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

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