N.C.A.A. Votes On Standards For Athletes
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (ncaa) is voting this week on a number of proposals that would set more stringent academic requirements for college-bound high-school athletes and would ease restrictions on the recruiting practices of colleges.
Proposals to tighten high-school academic requirements for prospective college athletes appear to have widespread support.
Current ncaa rules require a 2.0 high-school average for freshman athletes.
The proposal most likely to be accepted, said an official with one education organization, would require combined scores of at least 700 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or 15 on the American College Test. The proposal would also require that students take at least 11 academic courses.
"It's too early to call because we haven't talked to all the presidents, but most of the people we talked to reacted favorably to the rule," said Robert Atwell, executive vice president of the American Council on Education (ace), which has lobbied for the proposal.
The strictest academic proposal would require freshmen to have a 2.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale in high school. The rule, supported by all members of the Pacific-10 Conference, would take effect in the fall 1984 semester.
Four other academic rule proposals are variations of the initiative promoted by the ace
Mr. Atwell said the prospects are "gorgeous" for an initiative that would require college athletes to earn a minimum number of credits each year in subjects that can be applied toward degrees. Currently, athletes may compete if they complete credits for any course.
The strictest proposals will be considered before the more lenient ones.
The other resolution that would directly affect high schools would allow unlimited recruiting contacts with all high-school athletes. That is the only issue on which the ncaa has received advice from high-school organizations. The National Federation of State High School Associations--the only national high-school athletic organization--opposed the measure, which was sponsored by six of the largest universities.
The most controversial of the 132 measures under consideration at this year's annual meeting in San Diego would demote as many as 40 institutions from the top level of intercollegiate competition.
Those smaller colleges facing demotion--and with it the loss of television revenues--are strongly resisting the proposal. The proposal is not expected to pass.
Other proposals to be considered by the ncaa would:
Allow students to receive honorary academic awards and still not lose any of their athletic scholarship.
Publicize specific acts that violate ncaa ethical-standards rules to deter illegal behavior.
Eliminate the need to receive ncaa approval for intrastate all-star high-school games that take place after graduation.
Bar college alumni from the recruiting process.--ce