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Volume 24 No. 115


Meetings of the NCAA's top two committees and the D-I BOD on Wednesday were part of what is "expected to be a yearlong process to decide how to make significant changes to the way the NCAA is run," according to Ronnie Ramos of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The meetings "began formal talks about how to best govern the 348 schools that comprise its top division." Michigan State President and NCAA Exec Committee Chair Lou Anna Simon said, "We’re at a crossroads, and the sense in the room was that people want to try and make it a much better organization." NCAA President Mark Emmert said, "There is a strong sense of urgency to move the association forward. There is a deep concerted effort on behalf of the board and the membership to find ways to get the Division I governance system to work better." Simon, along with Wake Forest President and D-I BOD Chair Nathan Hatch, said that they "were 'very confident' a solution on how to best change the NCAA will be reached about a year from now." Simon: "The room was committed to understanding the importance of the moment, in terms of this crossroads, and being very committed to working together." Emmert, Simon and Hatch stressed that this process "would be more deliberate and include much more input from the membership." Hatch said that the goal was "to arrive at a decision by August 2014" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/9).

RULES ARE RULES: Hatch, in response to whether some of the NCAA rules regarding payments to college athletes should be modified, said, "I stand by the NCAA's commitment to amateurism, and I believe the way we've done that is the correct way. So I believe the rules we have, we agree with." NCAA Enforcement Dir Jonathan Duncan said that he "does not anticipate modifications to those rules" (AP, 8/8). Emmert, Simon and Hatch said that they "don't see any reason to alter the rules that prohibit an athlete from profiting by signing his name" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/9).

BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall had announced on Thursday that the back of the team's jerseys this season would feature the "core values of his football program -- Spirit, Tradition and Honor" -- instead of player names, but hours later, the coach "decided it would be for one game only after listening to the concerns of players in a team meeting," according to Jay Drew of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Mendenhall wrote on his Twitter account, "Talked to my team tonite (sic). They want to wear tradition spirit honor on jerseys for homecoming only. Last names for rest of the year. PERFECT!" Drew notes the players -- and "seemingly everyone else in the program except Mendenhall -- first learned of the change when they found their 2013 jerseys hanging in the locker room on Thursday afternoon." The players said that they "didn’t even get a chance to pick the value they would wear." Many players were "stunned and incredulous." BYU LB Kyle Van Noy said, "I am not really sure how I feel about them yet. One thing I have enjoyed about playing here at BYU is having the last names on the backs of the jerseys." BYU Associate AD/Communications Brett Pyne confirmed that the jerseys with the core values on the back will be worn only "when the Cougars play host to Georgia Tech" on homecoming. The words Spirit, Tradition and Honor are "spelled out in large letters on the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium, and were on the South side of the stadium until new scoreboards were installed last summer." News of the change "drew mostly a firestorm of criticism on Twitter and other social media outlets, and even several former Cougars weighed in that it was a bad idea" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/9). In Utah, Jeff Call writes Mendenhall "unwittingly caused a big distraction for his team" with the jersey change. BYU RB Jamaal Williams said, "We understand what they’re trying to do, but we still want our last names on there" (DESERET NEWS, 8/9).