Aaron Torres: New NCAA Rules Won't Change Anything

Until the NCAA changes its amateurism model, the black market for the best players will continue, Aaron Torres said

Ferrall On The Bench
October 30, 2018 - 9:15 am

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The NCAA announced a series of rule changes Wednesday that will allow elite prospects to have relationships with agents and return to college if they go undrafted, among other changes.

While these were billed as landmark changes, The Athletic’s Aaron Torres was unimpressed.

“The big news is that there’s no news,” Torres said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Basically nothing really changed. You see the headline ‘Players Allowed to Have Agents.’ Well, we find out it’s not going to take effect until the NBA Draft rules change, we find out that it’s only a very small sample size, other rules in place come with caveats – so to me, this was very much window dressing. The idea of doing something for the sake of saying you're doing something rather than taking any real action. It was a weird day. It was exciting when the news broke, and then you kind of peel back the layers and you realize, frankly, not much has changed at all.”

The NCAA will also requite school presidents, chancellors, and athletic staff to comply with future investigations. 

Torres, though, felt these rule changes didn’t get to the heart of the problem in college basketball.

“My stance is pretty firm as far as the plight of the student-athlete,” Torres said. “I think that 99 percent of student-athletes actually have things pretty good. I talk to parents all the time. I had dinner the other night with a dad whose kid plays basketball in the Pac-12, and he said, ‘Look, man, that kid’s got it pretty good.’ They now have these cost-of-attendance stipends, which is basically a small payment every month. That’s in addition to free room and board, free books, you get all the meals you can eat – so I don’t think it’s that bad. 

“But I do also think when this task force was commissioned, led by Condoleezza Rice, the goal was to kind of quote-unquote clean up college basketball,” Torres continued. “Obviously cleaning up college basketball is in reference to the fact that the best high school players were getting paid under the table. So, it goes back to amateurism; it goes back to is the NCAA really willing to consider changing the amateurism model? Until they change the amateurism model, nothing is really going to change as far as the black market for the best players in the sport. 

“If the problem was money being funneled to players, then the best way to get it out is to change a lot of things that, frankly, just haven’t been changed yet.”