SBD/7/Collegiate Sports

NCAA SET TO APPEAL; FINDS LITTLE SYMPATHY IN MEDIA

          The NCAA's "upper crust" is moving toward a formal
     announcement that it will appeal the $67M verdict in the
     coaches restricted-earnings case, according to Steve Rock of
     the K.C. STAR.  George Dennison, Univ. of MT President and a
     member of the NCAA Exec Committee, said, "The appeal is
     going forward at the recommendation of legal counsel."  NCAA
     General Counsel Elsa Cole "contends that the NCAA wasn't
     allowed to fully defend its case during the trial."  Cole:
     "We were never able to explain to the jurors that this
     coaching position was passed as an entry-level position." 
     Despite the likely appeal, Rock writes that "some members of
     the extended family can't help but wonder whether that's the
     best idea."  Kansas St. basketball coach Tom Asbury: "It's
     going to prolong it.  It'll make the NCAA look foolish"
     (K.C. STAR, 5/7). USA TODAY's Jack Carey writes the decision
     could signify the "start of a potential sea of change for
     intercollegiate sports," and that more NCAA rules "could be
     threatened by other antitrust rulings."  Tulane Sports Law
     Professor Gary Roberts said the NCAA "has thousands of these
     rules that could normally constitute a restraint of trade. 
     The problem is they don't know which rules might be OK and
     which might be a problem" (USA TODAY, 5/7).
          REAX: A K.C. STAR editorial says the decision
     "reinforced" the NCAA's "reputation as an overbearing,
     bureaucracy-riddled organization."  It concludes, "Given its
     contentious attitude through this entire matter, the NCAA
     likely will try for several more years to avoid paying the
     coaches the money they justifiably were awarded" (K.C. STAR,
     5/7).  In DC, Dick Heller writes the NCAA "got what it
     deserved," and adds that the "latest legal knock ... can
     only further reduce its dwindling control, perhaps to the
     point where it will be restructured or replaced as a
     governing body" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/7).  In N.Y., William
     Rhoden writes the committee "had no business imposing
     restrictions" and the NCAA's lawyers "failed to see the
     monopolistic implications."  Former ACC Commissioner Gene
     Corrigan, who chaired the committee which recommended the
     earnings rule, said it was meant to "enhance opportunity,
     not take it away," during a time of threatened cutbacks. 
     Corrigan: "Only in America.  You try to help someone and
     they turn around and sue you" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/7). 

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