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January 21, 2004

Proposals Gain Support At Convention

FROM THE NCAA CONVENTION COMES WORD that the Division I Management Council has considered over 100 initiatives.  Approved were proposals on academics, financial aid and student-athlete benefits. 

Most significant among the bunch was the incentives / disincentives package to be voted on in April. One proposal would establish an Academic Progress Rate (APR) measuring academic performance for all sports teams. Another would penalize teams not performing to APR parameters. A third proposal penalizes poor academic performance by prohibiting the re-awarding of athletics aid of a student-athlete to an incoming prospect. The fourth proposal establishes a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) as an alternative to the current federally mandated GSR methodology.

A key proposal dealing with financial aid also passed. It allows for payment up to the full amount of going to college (including miscellaneous expenditures like emergency visits home, medical needs, pizza money, etc.).  This "cost of attendance" would become the gauge of  a student-athlete’s individual maximum financial aid limit.  

Also given initial approval was a measure expanding medical coverage for student-athletes, permitting institutions to pay for a student-athlete’s medical expenses.

Other significant proposals gaining initial approval included a proposal eliminating foreign tours. Another proposal would preclude counting a travel day as the student-athlete’s required day off.

Other significant proposals to be given initial approval:

  • Elimination of the limit on the number of initial counters in men’s basketball (this would eliminate the “five-eight rule”).
  • Prohibition of institutions from playing exhibition contests against non-collegiate teams in men’s basketball.
  • Allowing a student to earn one core-course unit in the summer immediately after high-school graduation and before initial enrollment.
  • Prohibition of media guides and other athletics-specific brochures from being mailed to prospects.

Other proposals made news because they were defeated. The most notable was a proposal expanding existing summer financial aid programs for prospective student-athletes in basketball to all sports. The current “bridge” program in basketball allows schools to provide financial aid to entering prospects during the summer term before initial enrollment.  (NCAA News  1-19-04)