SBJ/January 15 - 21, 2001/This Weeks Issue

NCAA not fazed by lawsuits

The NCAA is on sound legal footing regarding a proposal to eliminate exempt basketball tournaments, which don't count against a Division I program's regular-season schedule, said NCAA general counsel Elsa Cole in response to two antitrust lawsuits that claim the NCAA is trying to put the events out of business.

One suit was filed in December by a group of tournament organizers, and one was filed this month by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association, which oversees the preseason National Invitation Tournament.

"The purpose of the rule would be to reduce the demand on student athletes and also provide competitive equity among schools," Cole said, adding that certain programs have gained a competitive edge because they are continuously being invited to play in these tournaments and, as a result, play more games than other schools.

No court date has been set for either case.

— Jennifer Lee

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