SBD/January 9, 2012/Colleges

Scholarship Changes Scheduled To Be Discussed At NCAA Convention This Week

The NCAA Convention is being held in Indianapolis this week and after “enough individual schools objected to the measures,” two topics will be reconsidered, “multiyear scholarships and raising the scholarship cap by $2,000,” according to a front-page piece by Alesia, Kravitz, Lefko, Neddenriep & Pointer of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke about “some of the biggest challenges he and his organization are facing.” On the public perception of the NCAA in the wake of the scandals of the past year, Emmert said, “Over the past 12 months, every time we've made a great stride, one of these grenades goes off. Then we make another stride and, boom, another grenade goes off. It has colored the public's perception of who we are a lot." With reports that changes to the current BCS system will be considered in the coming months, Emmert said of creating a major college football playoff, “I think (school presidents are) more open-minded about (a playoff) today than they were five years ago, at least the ones that I spend time talking to. But I think it's extremely unlikely that you would see anytime soon a 16-team playoff.” On conference realignment, Emmert said, “People like knowing that the Big 10 is a Midwestern deal, and the SEC is the Deep South and the Pac-12 is the West Coast. And I think it works that way, and when that gets blurred, I think it starts to fall apart. The conference doesn't have much meaning" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/9).

LAWYER UP: In N.Y., Joe Nocera wrote contrary to an assertion he made in an earlier column, the NCAA "does allow college athletes to engage a lawyer if they are accused of violating its rules." Universities "investigating improprieties by athletes do usually inform them that they can hire a lawyer." Nocera highlighted the case of Univ. of North Carolina FB Devon Ramsay, who last week was granted a sixth year of eligibility after he missed the majority of the '10 season due to an NCAA investigation into wrongdoing that was later deemed insufficient. Sharon Lee, Ramsay's mother, said, "I wish all the players had gotten a lawyer immediately. Everyone needed someone to look out for their interests" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/7).
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