The NCAA says the National Basketball Association can start recruiting college basketball players before the school year begins, even if the regular season begins before Thanksgiving.

A March 24 post on the NCAA site announced that the NCAA “has decreed that December 21 is the start of the 2017-18 National Collegiate Basketball schedule.”

The date was given on page A16, days before the college football season began.

NCAA statement: #NCAA rules on National Signing Day

: “CC&D will no longer launch all NCAA member schools’ recruiting campaigns in December 2018, and so it appears that the National Signing Day window has opened on December 21, 2018.”

The NCAA could change the league’s calendar for this year’s games but only if there was an advance notice to schools.

This remains subject to the NCAA trying to have all practices in December.

The new rule will affect events in December instead of November or December.

Wintertime competition will still be held in December, but not Holiday tournaments.

The NCAA already considered being retroactive to the fact that Holiday tournaments originally only began in December in 2000.

With the new rule, the season is only open to college athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent to attend college programs for the fall of 2019.

That includes DePaul, Georgetown, Miami (D), Duke, Michigan State, Baylor, and Tennessee.

The NCAA has taken a proactive approach to enhance recruitment for high school players in recent years.