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NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey dedicated much of his annual address Thursday to the issue of paying student athletes. Dempsey said paying athletes "is not only unreasonable but also next to impossible." "Armed with charts, pies and graphs," Dempsey explained, "There's a perception that athletic programs are making tons of money. That's far from true." Dempsey said that for Division I schools, there was an average athletic deficit of $174,000 (Jerry Lindquist, RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH, 3/31). However, Former NCAA Exec Dir Walter Byers disagrees. He says the current system involves a "plantation mentality," where coaches and administrators make money as "overseers who own the athlete's body." Most athletes also call for some type of pay (Wendell Barnhouse, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/1). BETTING CONCERNS: Much of the discussion also involved gambling on college campuses. In a panel discussion Friday entitled "Sports Betting and the Media," the peer pressure athletes may feel on campus was examined. The NCAA last year discussed denying media credentials to the NCAA Tournament to publications that publish betting lines on college sports. A recent survey by the Freedom Forum revealed that of the 50 largest newspapers in the U.S., only the N.Y. TIMES and WALL STREET JOURNAL do not publish point spreads (George Willis, N.Y. TIMES, 4/2).