Foes wary of what assistant limit will mean to aspiring young coaches NCAA notebook

January 09, 1991|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Evening Sun Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The NCAA attacked the cost-containment issue yesterday by passing tighter limits on the number of coaches a member school can employ, but many opponents warned the measures could keep younger people out of the profession.

By Aug. 1, 1992, Division I-A football coaches will be able to have eight full-time assistant coaches and four "restricted-earnings" coaches, a new umbrella term used to describe part-time, volunteer and graduate assistant coaches. Some universities will have to release as many as three assistants by Aug. 1, 1992, and University of Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said the Terps are one over the new limit.

In Division I basketball, coaches will be able to have two full-time assistants and one restricted-earnings coach. Towson State coach Terry Truax said the new rule will make it difficult for those trying to get a start in the profession.

"A lot of bigger schools are going to be affected by that," said Truax, speaking from his home. "Right now we're allowed the two full-time assistants, but in Division I we can also have a part-time, a volunteer and a graduate assistant, and a lot of schools staff all of those positions, and have an administrative assistant too.

"I don't want to see people not get into coaching because of this. A guy like Mike Krzyzewski got his start as a graduate assistant, and now some of those opportunities are going to be closed."

* The so-called non-revenue sports also will be hit by coaching restrictions. The designers of the legislation promise it will be fine-tuned at the 1992 convention, but for now schools can plan on having six coaches to operate a track and field program that can involve 60 men and women and more than 30 events; baseball will have only one full-time assistant for a squad that can number more than 30; and wrestling will have none.

"The NCAA has supported the Olympic movement tremendously, and I'm not sure if we're going to be able to continue to do that," said Leonard Braxton, the Morgan State athletic director who has served as U.S. coach at several international track competitions. "We've just eliminated the leadership needed to keep us going in Olympic sports."

* As a result of other legislation passed in Division I business sessions that lasted more than six hours, athletic dormitories will have to be phased out by 1996; athletes will be limited to one training table meal a day by the same year; contacts with recruits will be lessened; and members will have to conduct exit interviews with a sampling of athletes upon completion of their eligibility.

Withdrawn by the Southeastern Conference was legislation that would limit Division I members to four new basketball scholarships and seven over any two-year period.

* Loyal Park, the athletic director at Frostburg State, hopes that his school's new president supports athletics as much as his predecessor.

Herb Reinhard resigned as Frostburg State president last month, in part because of criticism he received for his use of discretionary funds. Reinhard leaves the school Jan. 20, and Park was not sure when a successor would be named.

Reinhard hired Park as a full-time athletic director and gave football coach Dennis Riccio no teaching duties in the spring so as to assist in the recruiting process.

Park, who has taught at Harvard and Loyola of Chicago, will welcome any other duties.

"My job could be redefined, sure," Park said. "Different heads of institutions have different philosophies, but we've got a strong base in every one of our sports, and I don't think that's going to change.

"I do know this: We were considering moving to Division II [with scholarships], but it's clear now that we're committed to Division III."

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