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The NCAA annual convention begins today in Nashville with two main issues on the agenda, "completing a restructuring of the organization's system of governance and voting on a number of issues concerning amateurism," according to David Nakamura of the WASHINGTON POST. Among issues to be discussed at the four day conference include whether athletes should be able to work during the year while on athletic scholarships; whether "elite" athletes should be allowed to borrow money against future potential earnings as a professional to buy anything they want (currently, they can borrow only to purchase disabling- injury insurance); and whether to keep in place a rule that allows men's basketball players to declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft and return to school within 30 days if they do not like their draft position and have not signed with an agent (WASHINGTON POST, 1/11). NCAA TAKES ON USA TODAY: The NCAA has formally contacted USA Today and other publications informing them that unless they stop publishing ads for gambling tip services they will not be issued credentials to cover the Final Four of the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, according to Bonnie DeSimone of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. A letter advising media outlets of the policy will be included in the credentials applications. NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey: "Is this (measure) symbolic? Yes. But it helps change consciousness" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/12). USA Today said they will have a response soon, and Paul Bowker, President of AP Sports Editors, noted that commercial speech is protected by the First Amendment (L.A. TIMES, 1/12).