NCAA's Brand: Scholarship numbers to be tied to grades and graduation

Legislation next month would take effect in '05-06

April 02, 2004|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

SAN ANTONIO - The message potentially could change the business of college athletics: In the future, the number of scholarships a school can give will be tied to the academic performances and graduation rates of its players.

That was the message NCAA president Myles Brand delivered yesterday in his annual State of the Game address at the Final Four.

"We will be putting in place a package that holds the institutions and the teams accountable in a way that was never true in the past," Brand said.

"If you think of eligibility, there will be accountability standards for individual student-athletes. We also will be putting in place strong disincentives for lack of academic performance for the teams and the schools."

That legislation will be considered at the NCAA's board of directors meeting this month. If it passes, one measure is expected to take effect for the 2005-06 academic year.

"If a student-athlete leaves for academic reasons, flunks out [in the '04-05 season], then that team cannot replace that player - loses that scholarship for a year," Brand said.

The NCAA is looking for ways to push coaches to recruit players who have an interest in, or are at least capable of, graduating. And what of those who either aren't interested or capable?

"Maybe some of those kids won't be recruited," said Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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