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Volume 24 No. 159

Collegiate Sports

          A clause in new men's basketball coach Clyde Drexler's
     contract with the University of Houston that calls for him
     to be paid $10,000 for "certain national TV appearances by
     the Cougars" is "one of several unusual facets" of his deal,
     according to Danny Robbins of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Under
     terms of the pact, Drexler will receive $250,000 a year in
     guaranteed income -- his base salary of $150,000 plus
     $100,000 from a summer camp and radio/TV shows.  But his
     contract "also contains several atypical elements,"
     including a $10,000 payment each time the Cougars appear on
     CBS more than once in a season.  In addition, Drexler will
     be supplemented if UH averages more than 6,000 per game in
     paid attendance, receiving 20% of "a figure computed by
     multiplying the average number of tickets above 6,000 by the
     average ticket price."  Also, Drexler will be paid $20,000
     if his program has a graduation rate of "at least" 60% over
     a two-year period, and $10,000 if his team wins the
     Conference USA tournament "while posting" a GPA of 2.5.  The
     contract also states that Drexler, who is 43 hours short of
     earning his undergraduate degree, must make "reasonable
     part-time efforts" to earn his diploma beginning with the
     '99-2000 academic year (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/11).

          After last week's decision by a federal judge in Kansas
     City that the NCAA pay $67M in damages to about 1,900
     assistant coaches, one of the NCAA's "primary reasons for
     existence -- providing member schools with a way to make
     rules designed to keep any school from gaining a competitive
     advantage -- is under challenge," according to Asher &
     Horton of the WASHINGTON POST.  Other NCAA "rulings pending"
     include a case concerning the academic standards athletes
     must meet to receive athletic scholarships and to compete as
     freshmen, and another challenges the use of standardized
     test scores as a cutoff for receiving an athletic
     scholarship.  Asher & Horton also write that "in a doomsday
     scenario, there may not be a place for a 1,000-member NCAA
     as it exists today," but lawyers say the "oft-discussed"
     formation of a super conference comprising schools with the
     top 50 to 60 athletic programs "would face the same legal
     scrutiny the NCAA does" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/12).  In
     Hartford, Ken Davis writes that the "actual loss" by the
     NCAA "may not be measured in dollars and cents, but in a
     loss of credibility and authority" (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/12).