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Post-NCAA Penalties For Affected Athletes
Remain On The Table, But Not Suspensions
The NCAA yesterday said suspensions for NFL rookies who accept extra benefits as college athletes "are not currently under consideration," according to Joe Schad of ESPN.com. Sources have indicated that the "idea of a suspension, in addition to financial penalties, had been discussed, mostly at the suggestion of college coaches, both during in-person and teleconference meetings of a panel assembled to address improper agent activity." American Football Coaches Association Exec Dir Grant Teaff yesterday said that "post-NCAA penalties for college players who receive extra benefits at the end of their college careers is 'on the table.'" Teaff noted that while the organization "isn't 'pushing' ideas, those that have been discussed include financial penalties and suspension" (ESPN.com, 10/27). Meanwhile, the NFLPA earlier this week issued a statement saying, "The NFLPA is opposed to any penalty being imposed upon a player in the NFL for conduct relating to the receipt of benefits in violation of NCAA rules while the player was in college. However, we will continue to discuss with the NCAA and others issues relating to the conduct of agents certified by the NFLPA as they interact with NCAA players" (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).
A PASSING GRADE: USA TODAY's Steve Wieberg reports graduation rates among college football players "improved by three points in the past year, to an all-time high of 69%." The rate for black players, a "longtime concern, jumped five points to 61% of those who entered school" in '03. However, seven of the 10 top-ranked teams and 16 of the top 25 in the BCS standings "were under the sport's four-year average." By comparison, the most recent NCAA study for men's college basketball shows that more than one in five programs "had four-year rates beneath 50%" (USA TODAY, 10/28).