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A clause in new men's basketball coach Clyde Drexler's contract with the University of Houston that calls for him to be paid $10,000 for "certain national TV appearances by the Cougars" is "one of several unusual facets" of his deal, according to Danny Robbins of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Under terms of the pact, Drexler will receive $250,000 a year in guaranteed income -- his base salary of $150,000 plus $100,000 from a summer camp and radio/TV shows. But his contract "also contains several atypical elements," including a $10,000 payment each time the Cougars appear on CBS more than once in a season. In addition, Drexler will be supplemented if UH averages more than 6,000 per game in paid attendance, receiving 20% of "a figure computed by multiplying the average number of tickets above 6,000 by the average ticket price." Also, Drexler will be paid $20,000 if his program has a graduation rate of "at least" 60% over a two-year period, and $10,000 if his team wins the Conference USA tournament "while posting" a GPA of 2.5. The contract also states that Drexler, who is 43 hours short of earning his undergraduate degree, must make "reasonable part-time efforts" to earn his diploma beginning with the '99-2000 academic year (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/11).
After last week's decision by a federal judge in Kansas City that the NCAA pay $67M in damages to about 1,900 assistant coaches, one of the NCAA's "primary reasons for existence -- providing member schools with a way to make rules designed to keep any school from gaining a competitive advantage -- is under challenge," according to Asher & Horton of the WASHINGTON POST. Other NCAA "rulings pending" include a case concerning the academic standards athletes must meet to receive athletic scholarships and to compete as freshmen, and another challenges the use of standardized test scores as a cutoff for receiving an athletic scholarship. Asher & Horton also write that "in a doomsday scenario, there may not be a place for a 1,000-member NCAA as it exists today," but lawyers say the "oft-discussed" formation of a super conference comprising schools with the top 50 to 60 athletic programs "would face the same legal scrutiny the NCAA does" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/12). In Hartford, Ken Davis writes that the "actual loss" by the NCAA "may not be measured in dollars and cents, but in a loss of credibility and authority" (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/12).