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NCAA FORMS PANEL TO STUDY FRESHMAN INELIGIBILITY PROPOSAL
Published June 10, 1999
A panel of 27 members formed by the NCAA, which includes school presidents, athletic directors and former Univ. of NC coach Dean Smith, "has been studying a plan to make freshmen ineligible for both men's and women's basketball," according to Frank Litsky of the N.Y. TIMES. The group will convene in Chicago on June 23 and again in July and "hopes to put together its recommendations then." The recommendations will then be forwarded to the NCAA Board of Directors, "which will decide what to do." NCAA President Cedric Dempsey supports the idea of freshman ineligibility for basketball and said that the proposal would have a "50-50" chance of being passed (N.Y. TIMES, 6/10). Dempsey noted that an adoption of the proposal could mean many high school players will enter the NBA draft rather than sit out a year in college. Dempsey: "College isn't for everybody" (USA TODAY, 6/9). Univ. of TX Senior Assistant AD and panel member Chris Plonsky called reports stating that women's basketball will be included in the proposal "totally inaccurate" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/10). IS THERE SUPPORT? In Charlotte, Gregg Doyel obtained minutes from a meeting of an NCAA "working group," which "overwhelmingly recommends" some type of freshman ineligibility (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/10). But in DC, Michael Rosenberg writes that "there is significant opposition to the idea," as an NCAA survey last fall showed that 74.7% of administrators and coaches either "disagree" or "strongly disagree" with the proposal (WASHINGTON POST, 6/10). In Cincinnati, Mike DeCourcy writes that the committee "probably will recommend" that freshmen become eligible after their first semester (CIN. ENQUIRER, 6/10). REAX: The WASHINGTON TIMES' Dan Daly: "If our society says it's OK to play pro basketball right out of high school, how can it not be OK to play college basketball?" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/10). NC State Univ. AD Les Robinson: "I think (more players leaving high school for the NBA) would be fine. That way, they don't have to waste their time taking classes for a year. ... Playing professional basketball is not a sin" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/10).