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Volume 25 No. 85
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NCAA BOD Already Moving On Legislation Following Rice Report

Proposals to change the hoops landscape could be made at the NCAA D-I BOD August meeting

Univ. of Minnesota President and NCAA D-I BOD Chair Eric Kaler said he does not believe the recommendations released by the Commission on College Basketball "fell short in any dimension" and if "taken together they will in fact move the dial on health of men's basketball," according to Marcus Fuller of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The NCAA D-I BOD "already has agreed to move forward in creating legislation." Various subgroups were "given assignments to turn the commission's ideas into proposals to consider during the board's Aug. 8 meeting." Kaler: "With the goal of getting as many of the reforms as possible by the first-tip-off of the basketball season of the fall of 2018. So we're moving on this very, very quickly" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/26). In Lexington, Jerry Tipton notes Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart "issued a statement of support" for the commission's recommendations, while SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey "issued a similar statement." Sankey said, "While the report and recommendations won't solve all of our challenges overnight, this represents an important step in a process to restore confidence in this great sport." Meanwhile, Duke AD Kevin White said the commission's "valuable insight and recommendations provide a starting point [for] a blueprint so to speak, for the future of college basketball" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 4/26). Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, "We are particularly pleased that many of the Rice Commission's recommendations parallel those of the Pac-12 Task Force" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/26).

FIRST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE: VCU AD Ed McLaughlin said that the "general reaction to the report is that it's about time and it's a good first step." McLaughlin: "There's a lot of pieces there, but I think it's the right framework in terms of we're willing to go as far as we need to (go) to make the sport look what we want it to look like rather than what it's become." Richmond AD John Hardt said he believes a "lot of us long-time NCAA veterans" look at the recommendations as a necessary step (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 4/26).

IT'S A START: In DC, Sally Jenkins writes the commission's report is "by no means a perfect document." But it has the "virtue of marrying deep, sincere esteem for college athletes to concreteness and clarity." Critics "fault it for stopping short of recommending pay for athletes, or they seem to have expected something more radical." Jenkins: "But I have a feeling over time it will come to be seen as a valuable starting point." Condoleezza Rice's report "doesn't get everything right, but her overall emphasis is right on target" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/26). FS1's Jason Whitlock said he wanted a recommendation to "end amateurism, but I guess that's not what they are paying Condoleezza Rice for." Whitlock: "They are paying for her name and her brand and she did a nice job here protecting amateurs. Good for her" ("Speak For Yourself," FS1, 4/25). In Greensboro, Ed Hardin writes some of the recommendations "sound like the commission wanted to put the NCAA back in NCAA basketball." But "at least it's a start." Hardin: "Now comes the hard part" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 4/26). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay writes it would be "fun to dump all over" the commission's recommendations, but it "wouldn't be completely fair." The report "contained more than a few good, if wildly overdue, recommendations." Gay: "But let's acknowledge what it is: mild progress" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/26). ESPN's Mike Wilbon said in regards to the recommendations, there has to be a "conversation and the conversation cannot just be among like-minded people with a greater interest in college basketball." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser: "There are very many well meaning people who put these things together and nothing really changes" ("PTI," ESPN, 4/25).