N.C.A.A. Rules To Be Phased In

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Delegate at the National Collegiate Athletic Association's annual convention in New Orleans last week rejected measures that would change new freshman-eligibility rules set to go into effect next fall on 284 campuses with highly competitive sports programs.

But by a 2-to-1 vote, representatives of the N.C.A.A.'s Division I schools agreed to a modification that will phase in the rules over a two-year period.

The easing-in of the controversial regulations, known as Proposition 48, will give high-school athletes and their advisers additional time to adjust to the academic requirements involved. In recent weeks, educators at both the precollegiate and post-secondary levels had criticized the N.C.A.A. for inadequately informing high schools of the rules' specifics. (See Education Week, Jan. 8, 1986.)

Starting in the fall of 1988, Proposition 48 will require all freshmen entering Division I athletic programs to have maintained a 2.0 grade-point average in an 11-course core curriculum and earned a combined score of at least 700 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or 15 on the American College Testing Program's examination.

The modification passed last week will allow freshmen entering in 1986 and 1987 to compete with college-entrance-test scores slightly below the standard, provided they have grade-point averages that are slightly higher than the requirement.

Next fall, students with a grade-point average of at least 2.2 in the core curriculum may have test scores as low as 660 on the S.A.T. or 13 on the A.C.T. In the fall of 1987, students will have to score 680 on the S.A.T. or 14 on the A.C.T.

In 1988, students will be required to meet the full standards of Proposition 48.

'Discriminatory Impact'

Proposition 48's testing requirement was sustained despite vigorous opposition from presidents of predominantly black colleges, who view the inclusion of standardized test performance in the rules as discriminatory because of its disproportionate impact on minority athletes.

Leaders of predominantly black schools opposed to the testing provision said la t week they would meet soon to decide whether or not to fight I the rule in the courts.

Proposition 48 was originally adopted in January 1983, but its implementation has been delayed, according to the N.C.A.A., to give high schools and colleges adequate time I to plan for the changes. In the three years since the rule's adoption, however, the collegiate-athletics group has sent only two advisory statements to high schools. The latest, setting out the rule's specific requirements, was mailed last October.

Drug Testing

In other developments at last week's meeting, college presidents approved the use of drug testing at N.C.A.A. championship events. Beginning next fall, tests to detect use of illegal drugs and such "performance enhancers" as anabolic steroids will be administered prior to some championship games and all football bowl games.

Vol. 05, Issue 19, Page 14

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