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RECENT NCAA COURT DEFEAT COULD HAVE GREATER IMPLICATIONS
Published May 12, 1998
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).