NCAA PANEL RECOMMENDS FRESHMEN DON'T NEED TO BE BENCHED
A 27-member panel "recommended" to the NCAA yesterday
that freshmen "continue to be eligible to play basketball,"
according to Frank Litsky of the N.Y. TIMES, who writes that
the panel "recommended that the N.C.A.A. tighten the rules
governing freshmen and also reward colleges that have higher
graduation rates for basketball players." Freshmen will
remain eligible if they complete 12 course hours and
"achieve" a GPA of at least 2.0 in their first term.
Freshmen "who do not qualify academically" would still be
allowed to receive financial aid "despite being ineligible."
Litsky reports that the panel would "create an athletic
scholarship system" based on graduation rates. Men's teams
with graduation rates of 75% or higher would have 14 annual
grants, those with rates from 33%-74% would have 13 annual
grants while those below 33% would have 12 annual grants
(N.Y. TIMES, 7/21). In Chicago, Mark Brown reports that the
panel "suggested shortening" the summer recruiting period
from 24 to 14 days (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/21). Players who
"transfer or turn pro while in good academic standing will
not count against" a school's graduation rate (WASHINGTON
POST, 7/21). The NCAA Board of Dirs, "with input from" the
panel, should make a final decision on the recommendations
in January 2000 (Sean Horgan, INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 7/21).
THE RIGHT STUFF: NCAA panel Chair & Syracuse Univ.
Chancellor Kenneth Shaw, on freshman ineligibility: "While
there is committee support for the concept, there simply
isn't enough support [for implementing it]. The majority of
those who opposed freshman ineligibility have legitimate
concerns about treating this group so differently from
others. They have expressed legal, ethical and practical
concerns." In Philadelphia, Dick Jerardi reports that the
panel wants to "establish certification guidelines for
summer camps and foreign high school tours," including
"financial disclosure" and "for what purpose the funding is
used." Jerardi: "This was aimed at, among others, adidas
and Nike." St. Joseph's (PA) Univ. coach Phil Martelli:
"Nike and adidas say they're in it for the good of the game.
The committee is saying that if you are in for the good of
the game, show us" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 7/21).