SBD/21/Collegiate Sports

NCAA PANEL RECOMMENDS FRESHMEN DON'T NEED TO BE BENCHED

          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).

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Colleges, NCAA, Nike, Washington Nationals

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