NCAA COST-CUTTING BEGINS: HOST CITIES' EXPENSES SLASHED
The NCAA's "top brass, specifically the Executive
Committee," meets this week in Chicago and on the agenda
will be "budget discussions and potential cost-cutting
measures, the lingering effects of a legal bill that could
exceed" $70M, the product of the NCAA's illegal "restricted-
earnings" rule, according to Steve Rock of the K.C. STAR.
The "new NCAA could wind up being a far cry" from today's
organization, including fewer "resort-type settings for
committee meetings," less money spent on entertainment
functions and "maybe even no private jet." The K.C. STAR
obtained documents showing that "many" of the areas targeted
for possible cuts by the NCAA are "rather mundane." But
there are others which "have been the source of criticism
for years." Critics have "long complained" that NCAA
committees meet in extravagant places, locales inconsistent
with the NCAA's mission as a non-profit organization billed
as educational in nature" (K.C. STAR, 8/11).
LOCAL LEVEL: In San Antonio, Travis Poling reported
that the NCAA has "slashed" the amount of money Final Four
host cities can spend to $500,000, including money from
ticket-package sales to local corporations and civic
boosters. Last year, San Antonio hosted the men's Final
Four with a budget of $1.2M. The new rules are intended to
"help protect the investment of the NCAA's national
corporate sponsors," by restricting the number of local
firms that can claim any support of the event. The rules
are also meant to "decrease the burden" of host cities that
have trouble raising money (EXPRESS-NEWS, 8/10). In St.
Pete, Kelly Ryan reported that Tampa's budget for the '99
Final Four already exceeds $500,000, but since the events
"straddle two counties," local organizers will deal with
three cities, rather than one (ST. PETE TIMES, 8/10).