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NCAA PANEL RECOMMENDS FRESHMEN DON'T NEED TO BE BENCHED
Published July 21, 1999
A 27-member panel "recommended" to the NCAA yesterday that freshmen "continue to be eligible to play basketball," according to Frank Litsky of the N.Y. TIMES, who writes that the panel "recommended that the N.C.A.A. tighten the rules governing freshmen and also reward colleges that have higher graduation rates for basketball players." Freshmen will remain eligible if they complete 12 course hours and "achieve" a GPA of at least 2.0 in their first term. Freshmen "who do not qualify academically" would still be allowed to receive financial aid "despite being ineligible." Litsky reports that the panel would "create an athletic scholarship system" based on graduation rates. Men's teams with graduation rates of 75% or higher would have 14 annual grants, those with rates from 33%-74% would have 13 annual grants while those below 33% would have 12 annual grants (N.Y. TIMES, 7/21). In Chicago, Mark Brown reports that the panel "suggested shortening" the summer recruiting period from 24 to 14 days (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/21). Players who "transfer or turn pro while in good academic standing will not count against" a school's graduation rate (WASHINGTON POST, 7/21). The NCAA Board of Dirs, "with input from" the panel, should make a final decision on the recommendations in January 2000 (Sean Horgan, INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 7/21). THE RIGHT STUFF: NCAA panel Chair & Syracuse Univ. Chancellor Kenneth Shaw, on freshman ineligibility: "While there is committee support for the concept, there simply isn't enough support [for implementing it]. The majority of those who opposed freshman ineligibility have legitimate concerns about treating this group so differently from others. They have expressed legal, ethical and practical concerns." In Philadelphia, Dick Jerardi reports that the panel wants to "establish certification guidelines for summer camps and foreign high school tours," including "financial disclosure" and "for what purpose the funding is used." Jerardi: "This was aimed at, among others, adidas and Nike." St. Joseph's (PA) Univ. coach Phil Martelli: "Nike and adidas say they're in it for the good of the game. The committee is saying that if you are in for the good of the game, show us" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 7/21).