N.C.A.A. Backs Major Changes In College Sports
Responding to a groundswell of support for major reform, the members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association last week voted to make sweeping changes in intercollegiate athletics, including reductions in the number of athletic scholarships and new limits on the recruitment of high-school prospects.
At its annual convention in Nashville, the ncaa also took steps to reduce the number of games and lengths of seasons in most sports, reduce the amount of time student-athletes must devote to their sports, phase out athletic dormitories, limit the number of special training-table meals for athletes, and require that all top-division schools provide counseling and tutoring services to athletes they recruit.
Most of the reforms were strongly backed by the ncaa Presidents Commission, a panel of college and university presidents, which had also urged its members to attend the convention to lobby for change and to demonstrate their willingness to reassert control over intercollegiate athletics, which has been beset by problems and scandals in recent years.
Richard D. Schultz, executive director of the ncaa, told the news media last week that the passage of the reforms indicates "that the presidents are willing to step forward and assume their proper role as chief executives of athletics as well as the institution. They came here with an agenda and they stuck by it."
Among other changes, the schools voted to:
Reduce the number of athletic scholarships at Division I schools by 10 percent. In basketball, scholarships will be cut from 15 to 13 per team by 1993-94. In Division I-A football, scholarships will gradually decrease from 95 per school now to 85 by 1994-95.
Reduce the allowable number of paid campus visits by basketball and football recruits to Division-I institutions.
Place time limits on practice, mandate a day off for student-athletes, and shorten the season for all sports except football.
Phase out athletic dorms by 1996 and reduce the number of training-table meals from three to one per day in 1996.--mw