Change Starts at the Bottom: New NFHS Criteria for College Basketball Selection Events

14 Nov, 2018

By: Michael Popke

As a part of the NCAA’s initiatives to change the culture and climate in college basketball, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently introduced criteria for Scholastic Basketball Evaluation Events that will be held next June at still undetermined sites.

Under the new criteria, these three-day evaluation events — June 21-23 and 28-30 — must be held on an education-based campus and meet the NCAA’s definition of a “scholastic”-interscholastic or non-NCAA Division I facility. Additionally, no third-party sponsors or other individuals are permitted to organize and implement the events.

These events, aimed at minimizing the outside influences in the recruitment of high school basketball players, will provide Division I college coaches an opportunity to evaluate players at high school-sponsored events and hopefully prevent future scandals like the one that rocked college basketball last fall.

“The support of the NCAA for the criteria has underscored the importance of maintaining an education-based focus on event formats and host sites,” Dr. Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the NFHS, said in a statement. “The June Evaluation Events offer the opportunity for the high school coach and program to play an important role in a student-athlete’s transition from high school to college.”

Criteria for hosting the June Scholastic Basketball Evaluation Events was developed by NFHS staff and several high school sports state association administrators, and then reviewed by the NFHS Board of Directors, the High School Basketball Coaches Association (NHSBCA) and key administrators from the NCAA.

In order for an event to be approved by the NFHS, an event application must be submitted to the NFHS by the host member state association at least 60 days before the start of the event. An estimated budget of revenues and expenses must accompany the application.

The Los Angeles Times reports that at least one high school basketball coach is already beginning to put together a showcase in California’s San Fernando Valley.

Players involved in the June Scholastic Basketball Evaluation Events must be from a member state association school, and team events will include only member state association schools. Event coaches must be employed (paid or unpaid) by member state association schools or state coaches’ associations and must complete all school and state association certification requirements — including background checks — prior to coaching in the event. 

“The NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors have taken quick action to implement the recommendations of the NCAA Commission on College Basketball directed by Condoleezza Rice,” Niehoff said. “Preserving and promoting the education-based aspect of the sport of basketball calls for the high school and college levels to support one another, and we are off to a tremendous start toward that end.”

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