Over the last years, nearly all of the European College recruits got suspended by the NCAA for having played in professional teams despite not being paid. The most known examples are of course German Lucca Staiger or Turkish Deniz Kilicli who both had to sit out either a full season or a large part of the year. But recent rule changes may have a major impact on European recruiting in the next years.
Luke Winn reports in his blog on the SI website the following.
NCAA proposal 2009-22 would allow international athletes who’ve played on teams with professionals, but not received compensation, to become eligible immediately, rather than face lengthy suspensions under current rules. Proposal 2009-22 was adopted at the NCAA convention in January, and passed a March 17 override deadline without the requisite number of objections from universities. It’s slated for final approval in April, three weeks after the national title game.
This means that European players that have played in a team with professionals but did not get paid (like Kilicli, Staiger but also less known cases like Christian Standhardinger (Nebraska), Frank Wiseler (Drake) or others) will not face long suspensions anymore. However, there are still a few steps to take before this new rule will be in effect.
Proposal 2009-02 needs to pass two more bureaucratic hurdles: The NCAA’s Legislative Council must approve it at its April 19-20 meetings in Indianapolis, and then it gets a final review by the Division I Board of Directors on April 29.
One of the main profit takers of this change would of course be Kentucky that recently saw the commitment of 1992 born super-prospect Enes Kanter from Turkey. But these changes would also open the door again for a lot of other European players that chose to avoid the NCAA because they did not want to sit out a full season. Additionally, it needs to be cleared if the players that sat out before will regain eventually a year of eligibility in the future.