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  • NCAA president concerned about schools' rate of spending

    Jan. 8, 2005
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    GRAPEVINE, Texas -- With big steps already being taken toward academic reform in college athletics, NCAA president Myles Brand believes the next area of concern is containing costs.

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    In his state of the NCAA speech on Saturday, Brand expressed concern about ever-increasing athletic budgets. He warned that similar rates of growth, pushed recently by big TV contracts and other "fast-flowing new revenue streams," are unlikely in the future.

    "There will be disappointments when the rate of growth moderates," Brand said.

    Winning programs won't necessarily escape that trend.

    Brand pointed to an economic study released by the NCAA a year ago that found no correlation between increased spending and increased winning, or between increased winning and increased revenues.

    The need to increase the rate at which revenue expands has also inflated the need to increase wins, Brand said. That has raised the competition for outstanding student-athletes and coaches, some who have $2 million annual contracts.

    "We must arrest the slide toward professional athletics and the sports entertainment industry," Brand said. "And while the problem is not of crisis proportions right now, the time to (address the problem) is now."

    The average Division I university spends almost $15 million a year on athletics. That increases to about $27 million for schools with Division I-A football.

    Brand said the problem of "spiraling expectations" isn't directed only at Division I-A programs.

    "The same process has driven some I-AA programs to moves its football to I-A and some Division II programs to seek the visibility of Division I," he said.

    Some schools feel that moving "to the next level" will result in enhanced academic reputation or new institutional revenue streams, or both.

    While containing costs dominated his speech, Brand also discussed academic reform, a centerpiece of his plan since becoming the NCAA's leader two years ago, and the status of amateurism in college sports.

    Brand also called it "simply appalling" that there are so few black head football coaches in Division I, as well as Divisions II and III, and not enough women in high positions such as head coaches and athletic directors.

    Under a plan being finalized this weekend by a committee and expected to be approved Monday by the Division I Board of Directors, schools will face scholarship reductions for poor academic performance by teams.

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    The Division I Committee on Academic Performance hoped to determine the final standards for the program on Sunday.

    "These measures will change the culture of college sports," Brand said. "Success as a student as well as an athlete, simply, is the only acceptable standard for the future in college sports."

    Within the next month, universities and colleges will have an annual report outlining academic progress of athletes and a longer-term graduation success rate.

    The loss of scholarships for failing to reach standards will be capped at 5 or 10 percent. Based on the lower number, I-A football teams could lose no more than four of its 85 scholarships, and women's and men's basketball could lose only one.

    Still, Brand said student-athletes in both Divisions I and II graduate at a higher rate than the student body --two percentage points in Division I and eight percentage points in Division II.

    But football and men's basketball players graduate below both the student-athlete rate and the student body rate in both Divisions I and II.

    "Although some leave to try their hand at professional sports, there are not nearly enough of these young men to explain the disappointing low numbers," Brand said. "The bottom line is that too many student-athletes in these two sports are simply leaving before they earn a degree."

    Many of those players are leaving for the lure of the money offered in professional sports. But some contend that because of the big money generated by some football and men's basketball teams, players should share in the profits.

    "I could not be more opposed," Brand said. "Amateurism is not about how much, it is about why. It is not about the money, it is about the motivation."

    He said the collegiate model of sports is based on the idea that students come to college to get an education. While knowing he sounded old-fashioned, he also believes most of the 360,000 student-athletes "play sports under the banner of the university for the love of the game."

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  • DJRamFan
    NCAA gets serious about school -- and some will pay
    by DJRamFan
    Jan. 14, 2005
    By Dennis Dodd
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!


    Might as well beat the NCAA to publicly outing these major-college football programs.


    Mack Brown's record at Texas: 70 wins, 19 losses, 27 percent graduation rate. (Getty Images)
    Minnesota. Houston. Texas. Utah.

    The Association would have us believe all of the above are about to be put on double-secret probation. Or something close to it. The NCAA basically said so this week when it got to the heart of the matter of academic performance. Fall below a 50 percent graduation rate, and programs could lose scholarships, postseason berths and, worst case, NCAA membership.

    How's that feel, Flubbed Four? Embarrassed enough? All four of those programs graduated no more than 40 percent of their players -- oops, sorry, student-athletes -- according the latest grad rates. The NCAA already has said 30 percent of I-A falls below its new Academic Performance Rate (APR) standard that approximates those current NCAA grad rates.

    Those four might or might not be in that group when warnings are issued sometime soon, but their recent track record isn't good. And there will be more.

    Later this month or early February, the NCAA will start sending out letters to schools that fall below the APR cut line of 925 (approximately 50 percent). By 2006, offenders could start losing scholarships (up to 10 percent in each sport).

    Then a postseason ban. Imagine Texas being told it can't go bowling.

    The next punishment stage is essentially a new version of the NCAA's death penalty -- loss of membership.

    "We're talking about rather strong penalties here," NCAA president Myles Brand said, adding, "We're talking about the level of major infraction penalties."

    And it might just work. For once, the NCAA has some legislation with teeth -- or at least the red-cheek factor. If nothing else, the "offenders" will be chagrined. The NCAA plans a very public process in notifying and penalizing schools that fall below 925.

    The idea being: Imagine Texas letting things slip to a postseason ban. Supposedly, it won't.

    Schools' grad rates will be tracked term-by-term, year-by-year instead of the antiquated federally mandated six-year window, which was akin to looking at a distant star. Sometimes many coaches, presidents and athletic directors ago.

    The APR is more accurate in that it takes into account transfers going in and out of the program who leave in good academic standing.

    But for now, the old antiquated system is all we have to go on, which is why the four schools were selected for this mini-public flogging. According to the NCAA, 27 percent of the Texas freshman football players entering school in 1997-98...
    -01-18-2005, 06:00 PM
  • 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
    NCAA lets schools know if they're making the grade
    by DJRamFan
    Feb. 15, 2005
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Schools will begin receiving information from the NCAA about their teams' academic performance within the next week, a move that could lead to some schools losing scholarships next fall.

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    The reports will be made available to the public on Feb. 28.

    NCAA officials said Tuesday they believe about 20 percent of men's basketball teams and 30 percent of football teams risk immediate penalties based on data collected from the 2003-04 school year. But penalties will not be imposed until after officials collect data from 2004-05.

    "I think the vast majority of those at risk will be so far under the cutlines, that it will be a no-brainer," said Wally Renfro, senior adviser to President Myles Brand.

    The penalties are a component in the NCAA's latest academic reform movement, which is based on a new points system that measures the retention and graduation rates of each team.

    An athlete receives one point per semester or quarter for remaining eligible and another point each term for staying in school. The formula will not penalize schools for students who remain academically eligible before transferring, something that count against universities when federal graduation rates are calculated.

    The system also rewards schools for accepting transfers who graduate -- something federal guidelines do not count.

    The NCAA will then calculate each team's total score and divide the number by the most possible points to produce a percentage. A perfect score would translate to 1,000 points, and any team with fewer than 925 points -- equivalent to about a 50 percent graduation rate -- could lose scholarships.

    But because next year's equations are based on only two years of data, rather than the preferred four years, the NCAA also will have a small-squad adjustment formula that could help some teams avoid immediate punishment even if their total score falls below the cutline.

    NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon said that part of the equation was added to avoid anomalies for teams with fewer athletes. Todd Petr, the NCAA's managing director of research, said the adjustment would be calculated like the margin of error in a presidential poll.

    Lennon also insisted schools still had time to change their numbers before next fall.

    "Things can be done right now to avoid these penalties," he said. "But you may have a team that has 80 players and a score of 900 with a different boundary than a team of five at 900."

    Schools could not lose more than 10 percent of scholarships allowed by the NCAA in any one year in each sport. The loss would be for just one year at a time.


    But if the academic numbers don't improve, schools...
    -02-18-2005, 08:53 AM
  • txramsfan
    Beer Sponsorships and the NCAA
    by txramsfan
    From Yahoo:

    No one is willing to say, or even guess precisely, how much value the NCAA adds to its $6.2-billion basketball television contract with CBS by allowing the network to sell and air beer and other malt-beverage ads.

    "(With) a truly national property, which is obviously what the NCAA and its championships are, you're talking a significant investment from these alcoholic beverage concerns," says Steve Angelucci of the media and marketing handler Host Communications. "Certainly in the the millions and millions - high millions."


    Nonetheless, NCAA officials say the decision to allow the limited number of ads is not about the money.


    Before the 11-year deal was negotiated with CBS in 1999, then-NCAA President Cedric Dempsey says he and members of the association's Division I men's basketball committee discussed whether to keep alcohol in the advertising mix. They ultimately reasoned that a vast majority of member schools had made their positions clear, permitting the ads on their own radio and TV broadcasts, and that an NCAA ban would be "contradictory," he says.


    "The general feeling at that stage was that it might be more beneficial to try a 'responsible drinking' approach rather than totally eliminating them," Dempsey says.


    The university presidents and chancellors who sit on the top-level Executive Committee largely maintained that position in August, disappointing critics who charge that the association talks a better game than it actually plays.


    All told, there were an average of 2.5 alcohol TV ads per college football game and 2.6 per college basketball contest in 2003, the most recent year for which such figures are available, according to Georgetown University's Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. Pro basketball had more (4.5). Pro football had virtually the same number (2.5).


    The alcohol industry's spending on college sports-related TV advertising that year: $52.2 million, accounting for about 4.5% of all television advertising tied to those sports. That figure climbed to $66.2 million in 2004.


    What individual schools do during the regular season is up to them. In part because some schools play in city-owned facilities and thus can't dictate policy, and in part because bans on local sales and advertising could constitute illegal restraint of trade, the NCAA hasn't imposed across-the-board restrictions.


    The NCAA controls its championships, however, and there it bars both sales and on-site ads. It limits broadcast advertising to beer and other malt beverages and wine products, permitting no more than 60 seconds per hour and two minute per overall broadcast. And it lays out guidelines for game programs.


    Beth DeRicco of the Department of Education-supported...
    -11-17-2005, 03:41 PM
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