SBD/Issue 162/Collegiate Sports

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  • NCAA Basketball Refs Plan To Form Association To Lobby For Money

    College Basketball Referees Planning To Form
    Association To Lobby NCAA For More Money
    College basketball referees have "taken steps to organize an association that ... could lobby the NCAA for more money to officiate postseason games," according to sources cited by Josh Peter of YAHOO SPORTS. Referee Ed Corbett, who in April officiated the NCAA men's basketball championship game, said, "Everybody wants a little bit more of the pie. Why not?" Officials noted that compensation for referees who work in the NCAA men's basketball tournament "ranges from $750 for first- and second-round games to $1,500 for games at the Final Four." An NCAA spokesperson said that the organization does not release such information. Corbett said that many officials also would "like an increased per diem, presently $75 per day for all meals, and the ability to book plane tickets and hotel rooms on their own," rather than having to use the NCAA's travel agency. Telephone conference calls yesterday were conducted to "gauge interest from officials across the country," and Corbett said that he has heard the response has "been positive and the association could be formed within a month." Peters noted DC-based Perennial Group, which is "assisting the group of men's officials," also reps the unions for NBA referees and MLB umpires. But Corbett and other officials "adamantly denied they are trying to create a union." Referee Jim Burr, one of 20 officials who met in April with Perennial Group, said, "We're not going to do any labor negotiations. We're strictly looking for a better way to put communication skills together. Right now we don't do a good job of communicating. We're all spread out." Perennial Group VP Lloyd Pierson said that the "primary goal of the association would be 'the advancement of the game' but wouldn't rule out the eventual formation of a union" (, 5/12).

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  • NCAA To Increase Watch Over Men's Basketball Recruiting

    Officials Say Increased Focus On Men's
    Basketball Recruiting Predates O.J. Mayo Case
    The NCAA is "breaking off three members of its 20-person investigative staff to monitor recruiting and other problem areas, develop contacts and leads and ultimately provide a better handle" on men's basketball, according to Steve Wieberg of USA TODAY. NCAA President Myles Brand yesterday said the men's basketball environment is "more difficult than some of the others, certainly on the recruiting side." Brand: "We have to have enough knowledge and sufficient networks ... to successfully investigate these cases. That's why we think it's better to have a few people, some of our leading investigators, who are focused in their efforts." The three staff members, led by NCAA Associate Dir of Enforcement LuAnn Humphrey "will attend summer camps and other events to familiarize players and others with NCAA rules." NCAA VP/Enforcement David Price said that the move "could lead initially to a spike in the number of basketball infractions cases, 'and hopefully that will create some kind of deterrence in the long run.'" Wieberg notes the program is "gearing up" as the NCAA begins to look into charges that former USC G and NBA Draft prospect O.J. Mayo "violated rules by accepting thousands of dollars in cash and gifts from a [L.A.] event promoter before Mayo arrived at USC and while he played for" the team last season. But both Brand and Price said that the "new emphasis on basketball predates the case." Price: "It is clearly coincidental, but it also certainly points out the need for change" (USA TODAY, 5/13).

    MAYO: The NCAA yesterday said in a statement the Mayo allegations were "new to the NCAA. This information was not available when the NCAA examined Mr. Mayo's academic and amateurism status prior to his collegiate enrollment, and we will review the information in conjunction with the institution and the Pac-10 conference." In L.A., Ben Bolch reports there "could also be criminal investigations," as California law "prohibits sports agents from providing cash or gifts to student athletes" (L.A. TIMES, 5/13).  ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “If the NCAA had any guts, they would really go after Southern Cal. But they don’t go after big, tough schools” (“PTI,” ESPN, 5/12).

    EARLY REPORT: While ESPN's "Outside The Lines'' is credited with breaking the O.J. Mayo story, has been sending out notices that Gregg Doyel wrote about Mayo's recruitment and possible NCAA violations in a story on its Web site on October 17, 2006 (THE DAILY).

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  • ACC Unlikely To Start Own Net When TV Contract Expires in 2011

    ACC Unlikely To Start Own Network
    After Current TV Contract Expires In 2011
    The ACC's TV contract is set to expire after the 2010-11 college basketball season, and while TV contract talks "will get serious" next year, "don't expect the ACC to follow the Big Ten's model and create its own network," according to Rob Daniels of the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD. ACC Commissioner John Swofford: "The Big 12 has renegotiated its TV contract since the Big Ten Network went into effect, and it chose not to go that route. The SEC has begun its discussions for its next agreements. Time will tell. It's something we want to keep an eye on. People in the industry view the Big Ten Network as a wait-and-see proposition" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 5/12). Raycom Sports President CEO Ken Haines: "Until there is some evidence that cable companies and satellite providers can make them successful, I think conferences will be very cautious about starting new channels" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/13).

    SCHEDULE EXPANSION: In Charlotte, Ken Tysiac reports ACC football coaches yesterday left the conference meetings in Florida "with instructions to talk about a nine-game conference schedule with their" ADs (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/13). In Jacksonville, Bob Thomas reports ACC men's and women's basketball and football coaches "found little reason to alter the current arrangements, which coincide with" the current TV contracts. ACC Associate Commissioner Mike Finn said that there was "little, if any, support for expanding the conference football schedule from eight to nine games by the league's 12 coaches" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/13).

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