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  • Big 12 pushes for 12 games

    By Ivan Maisel
    ESPN.com

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two years ago, when the NCAA allowed a 12th game in certain years, depending on the calendar, most people believed it was the camel's nose under the tent to get the 12th game for good.




    On Tuesday, in his State of the Conference address, Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg announced the arrival of the rest of the camel. The conference has filed legislation with the NCAA that would allow I-A teams to expand their schedules to 12 games.


    "We thought it would be useful to have a dialogue about a 12th football game on an annual basis," Weiberg said at the Big 12 Kickoff. "We're putting this into the [NCAA legislative] system because we want a dialogue on it."


    Before the 2002 season, the NCAA passed legislation that allowed a 12th game in years in which the season includes 14 Saturdays. That happened in 2002 and 2003, but won't occur again until 2008. Thus teams will revert to an 11-game schedule this fall. However, the Big 12 would like to get that extra game of revenue every year, no matter what the calendar dictates.


    Weiberg said the league waited to file the legislation until the BCS restructured the postseason and added only the fifth game that the presidents demanded. The presidents have been traditionally opposed to expanding the season.


    "We are cognizant that the timing might not be right," Weiberg said. "From the standpoint of flexibility in scheduling, for the schools struggling to build attendance, struggling to build financially, we believe the 12th game will be a benefit. From a health and safety standpoint, it has not been a problem. If you talk to the athletes, they would prefer to see a little more competition and a little less practice."


    Weiberg said his league's presidents support the 12th game. Nationally, the I-A athletic directors support it. Whether that will translate into support at the presidential level, where the decision must be made, is unknown.


    Pacific-10 Conference assistant commissioner Jim Muldoon said Tuesday that the league's athletic directors voted to support a 12th game in a meeting last month, and to go back to their respective campuses and canvass their presidents. Stanford president John Hennessey, for instance, is so opposed to a 12th game that he refused to allow the Cardinal to play one in each of the past two seasons.


    But Muldoon said the Pac-10 is considering going from an eight- to a nine-game conference schedule, a full round robin. "The schools who don't want to do that would be fine with it if we went to 12 games," Muldoon said. "If we went to a 12th game, no one is losing a third nonconference game."


    A full round-robin avoids the situation in which two teams who don't play one another tie for the conference championship. That hasn't happened in the Pac-10, although it occurred in the Big Ten in 2002, when Ohio State and Iowa both went unbeaten. The legislation will be taken up by the NCAA Management Council in January, and if it receives support, it would go before the NCAA Board of Directors in April.


    Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at [email protected].

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  • DJRamFan
    NCAA willing to bend rules in wake of hurricane
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 31, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA wants university officials and student-athletes to focus on recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina rather than worry about infractions, schedule changes or travel restrictions.

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    To help, college athletics' governing body may temporarily adjust some of its most restrictive rules.

    Steve Mallonee, the NCAA's managing director for membership services, said Wednesday the NCAA is willing to give athletes and universities more latitude to travel, provide more benefits to athletes' families and even allow students to compete without attending classes because of the storm that devastated the Gulf Coast.

    "Any rule that can negatively impact an institution or the student-athletes, I think we'll be proactive in," Mallonee told the Associated Press. "The message we'd like is that we have a process that can and will be flexible to any of our institutions that are impacted."

    Other potential changes include moving games to different venues, extending seasons, and possibly allowing athletes' families to stay on campuses.

    In past years, schools have postponed or canceled games because of hurricanes and other inclement weather. The NCAA allowed some games to be rescheduled, and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the nation's college games were postponed -- and most were rescheduled.

    Still, the NCAA has a reputation for its rigid stances. The 2003 men's and women's basketball tournaments were not delayed by the start of the Iraq war, the 1981 NCAA championship was played the night President Reagan was shot and some people have complained the organization is prone to following the letter of its voluminous rule book rather than the intent.

    But, the NCAA has never faced anything like this.

    Experts predict it could take months for some areas, including New Orleans, to recover. Classes could be canceled -- making athletes at those schools ineligible under NCAA rules -- while other schools may want to use football stadiums or basketball arenas as relief centers.

    That could force games to be canceled or moved.

    The NCAA hopes a more flexible approach will give schools an opportunity to help communities, allow athletes to assist family and friends and compete on the playing field.

    "The first priority of those schools caught in Katrina's path is the students, staff and families who have been put in harm's way," president Myles Brand said in a statement. "It is too early to say what the exact solutions will be, but the national office will work to accommodate these unique and unfortunate circumstances."

    The impact of the rules changes could be felt from coast to coast. ...
    -09-01-2005, 07:30 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Gutsy Mountain West banking on big plans
    by DJRamFan
    Feb. 19, 2005
    By Dennis Dodd
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!


    Give the Mountain West credit for having a huge set.

    And we're not necessarily talking television.

    Last year the Mountain West became the first I-A conference to leave ESPN. Mountain West TV (carrying league football and basketball games) kicks off in 2006 on new cable network CSTV.


    College Sports Television is trying to stay a step ahead of the copy cats. (Provided to SportsLine)
    Having to play midweek games and perceived second-class status became too much for the conference's presidential board. Commissioner Craig Thompson was charged with finding a new TV home. In what was a largely ignored, but significant, deal, he was able to sign a deal with fledgling CSTV in September.

    "Us leaving ESPN was the chink in the armor," Thompson said. "They lost a client for the first time ever, so to speak. Not that we meant that much to them."

    Time will tell whether the move to CSTV (College Sports Television) was progressive or ill-advised. ESPN is still the 800-pound gorilla but even it can't account for the increasingly fragmented college sports market. Conference USA followed the Mountain West to CSTV, although some of its inventory will remain on ESPN.

    Sure, the Mountain West got a 71 percent rights fees increase but it also lost "reach," the pairs of eyeballs that could see its product. CSTV, which debuted in 2003, is on most major cable systems but lags far behind the Worldwide Leader in terms of viewers and clout.

    "They realized they were not going to get the attention they deserved for the sports they deserved stuck as one tiny piece of ESPN's (empire)," said CSTV cofounder Brian Bedol.

    One industry analyst says CSTV has a good chance to get into 60 million homes in the next year or so. Bedol says the goal is 40 million homes in the next two years.

    "It's particularly a great move for a conference like the Mountain West," said the analyst, who did not want to be identified. "Without a large population base you struggle in competition against larger leagues. To create your own destiny is really a great move. There is risk associated with it, I think it's going to work."

    Both sides are betting on the idea that they will get better together. The Mountain West is arguably the best non-BCS league. CSTV was founded by Bedol, Steve Greenberg and Chris Bevilacqua. Bedol and Greenberg co-founded Classic Sports Network, which they eventually sold to ESPN. It is now ESPN Classic.

    Their financing includes Coca-Cola, JP Morgan and sports entrepreneur Dave Checketts.

    Bottom line, college sports' television landscape is changing. Both Fox and ESPN are launching...
    -02-24-2005, 09:10 AM
  • DJRamFan
    NCAA bans Indian mascots, 'abusive' nicknames from postseason
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 5, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    INDIANAPOLIS -- Fed up with what it considers "hostile" and "abusive" American Indian nicknames, the NCAA announced Friday it would shut those words and images out of postseason tournaments, a move that left some school officials angry and threatening legal action.

    COMMENTARY
    NCAA takes a stand that isn't much of one
    by Dennis Dodd

    • What's Your Take?
    Tell Dennis your opinion!


    Starting in February, any school with a nickname or logo considered racially or ethnically "hostile" or "abusive" by the NCAA would be prohibited from using them in postseason events. Mascots will not be allowed to perform at tournament games, and band members and cheerleaders will also be barred from using American Indians on their uniforms beginning in 2008.

    Major college football teams are not subject to the ban because there is no official NCAA tournament.

    Affected schools were quick to complain, and Florida State -- home of the Seminoles -- threatened legal action.

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    "That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole people as culturally 'hostile and abusive' is both outrageous and insulting," Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said in a statement.

    "I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the 'unconquered' spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida," he added.

    The committee also recommended that schools follow the examples of Wisconsin and Iowa by refusing to schedule contests against schools that use American Indian nicknames.

    While NCAA officials admit they still can't force schools to change nicknames or logos, they are making a statement they believe is long overdue. Eighteen mascots, including Florida State's Seminole and Illinois' Illini, were on the list of offenders.

    Those schools will not be permitted to host future NCAA tournament games, and if events have already been awarded to those sites, the school must cover any logos or nicknames that appear.

    "Certainly some things remain to be answered from today, and one of those things is the definition of what is 'hostile or abusive,"' said Tom Hardy, a spokesman at Illinois....
    -08-08-2005, 07:25 AM
  • DJRamFan
    NCAA considers basketball plans, initially OKs 12th football game
    by DJRamFan
    Jan. 9, 2005
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    GRAPEVINE, Texas -- While most of the proposals from basketball coaches seeking more access to players and prospects will get further consideration from the NCAA, they are a long way from gaining final approval.

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    "The details are in place," NCAA Division I vice president David Berst said Sunday. "Work has to be done in trust-gap issues. That is the impediment we need to overcome."

    Berst said coaches still have to convince many administrators and faculty that the purpose of their proposals is to have more mentoring opportunities with players, and isn't just a way to gain more practice time.

    "If this had been the final vote, I believe it would have failed," Berst said. "It runs to the lack of trust, and whether coaches are sincere in their claims."

    The 44 proposals from the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Womens Basketball Coaches Association were among 146 for various sports considered Sunday by the NCAA Division I Management Council.

    The council gave initial approval to making permanent a 12th football game each season for Division I and I-AA teams, something that couldn't take effect before the 2006 season. There was little discussion of that issue.

    Schools are now allowed 12th games only in seasons when there are 14 Saturdays between Labor Day weekend and the last weekend in November. The 2003 season qualified for additional games, but the next won't come until 2008.

    All issues forwarded by the management council Sunday are subject to open comment over the next 60 days. The council meets again in April, when it reconsiders the proposals before deciding whether to forward them to the NCAA Board of Directors for final approval.

    Since becoming NCAA president two years ago, Myles Brand had urged basketball coaches to get involved with trying to correct what they considered problems.

    That led to the package of proposals from the NABC and WABC. Many of the ideas are designed to allow more access to players and signees, including the ability to work with players during the offseason and to observe voluntary, non-organized activities like pickup games.

    The coaches also sought some recruiting changes.

    "The backbone of what they wanted is still in place," said America East Conference commissioner Chris Monasch, the chairman of the Management Council.

    Monasch said a "significant portion" of the council's daylong meeting was spent on the basketball proposals. He said some were initially turned down, but were revived and forwarded after further discussion.

    The council, however, denied a proposal to permit additional benefits to men's basketball players such as occasional...
    -01-10-2005, 07:21 AM
  • DJRamFan
    12-Member NEAC to Begin Play in 2004-05 Season
    by DJRamFan
    News Release

    Doug Lippincott, Director of Communications
    Office: (315) 279-5231 Home: (585) 346-2639
    FAX: (315) 279-5281 E-mail: [email protected]

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Feb. 9, 2004

    KEUKA PARK, N.Y.—Twelve NCAA Division III colleges from three states have joined to form a newlook North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). David Sweet, athletic director at current NEAC member Keuka College and acting conference commissioner, said conference play will begin in the 2004-05 season.

    Joining NEAC holdovers Keuka (Keuka Park, N.Y.), Cazenovia College (Cazenovia, N.Y.), and D’Youville College (Buffalo, N.Y.) are:
    • Baptist Bible College (Clarks Summit, Pa.).
    • Bard College (Annadale-On-Hudson, N.Y.).
    • Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, Pa.).
    • Keystone College (La Plume, Pa.).
    • Pennsylvania State University-Berks (Reading, Pa.).
    • Philadelphia Biblical University (Langhorne, Pa.).
    • Polytechnic University (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
    • SUNY Purchase (Purchase, N.Y.).
    • Villa Julie College (Stevenson, Md.)

    Current NEAC members Medaille College and Hilbert College will join the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference next season.

    The defection of Hilbert and Medaille would have left the NEAC with just three
    schools—Keuka College, D’Youville College, and Cazenovia College—for the 2004-05 season. “The conference wouldn’t have existed with just three members,” said David Sweet, athletic director at Keuka College and acting NEAC commissioner.

    Pulling the plug on the NEAC would have left Keuka and the other two colleges with two alternatives: join another conference or become an independent.

    “We explored the possibility of joining another conference but none of the Division III conferences in New York state were looking to expand and the others just didn’t work geographically,” said Sweet.

    Returning to independent status, which Keuka held before it joined the NEAC in 2001, was “something we didn’t even want to consider,” said Sweet. “Scheduling is very difficult for independent schools, but most of all our kids want to play for championships and everything else that goes with being in a conference, such as player of the week, all-conference, and all-academic honors,” he said. “We joined the NEAC for the benefits it would provide our student athletes, and we wanted to stay in a conference for the same reasons.”

    So Sweet and his counterparts at D’Youville (Brian Miller) and Cazenovia (Pete Liddell), along with presidents Joseph G. Burke (Keuka), Sister Denise A. Roche (D’Youville), and Mark J. Tierno (Cazenovia) went to work to save the NEAC.

    Their work was worthy of an ER script. Not only is the NEAC still kicking, but it has grown.

    According to Keuka’s top administrators, the new NEAC will benefit...
    -07-12-2004, 06:06 PM
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