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SAN ANTONIO -- The Division I Board of Directors revived legislation that would strengthen academic requirements for men’s basketball student-athletes, sending it back to the membership for a second look. The proposal was defeated Thursday by the Legislative Council. The Board action Saturday means the final vote on the proposal is set for April.
Called the “retention model-summer school” proposal, Prop. 2010-58C would require incoming student-athletes identified by the school as needing an academic head start to take six hours and pass three in summer school. At the same time, coaches would have some access to those student-athletes during the summer for skill development. This version of the proposal also provides an exception for national service academies.
The presidents wanted the membership to have more discussion on the subject, and many expressed support for the proposal’s academic portion. Some presidents even believed that the access piece – two hours a week for eight weeks – was minimal for student-athletes who are likely already spending a lot of time on their sport.
The Legislative Council will have the opportunity to take several different types of action in April. Traditionally, proposals in April are adopted or defeated. Because this proposal contains several pieces (the academic requirements and the access for coaches), it could be disassembled and each piece voted on separately. Alternately, the Council could refer the matter to the Leadership Council as part of that group’s extensive review of the men’s basketball recruiting model.
The proposal was the result of work done by the Board-appointed Basketball Academic Enhancement Group, composed of a variety of men’s basketball stakeholders, including administrators, coaches and faculty.
In other legislative action, the Board also tabled until April Prop. 2010-12, adopted earlier this week by the Legislative Council. This proposal would eliminate the requirement that override votes be cast in-person at the NCAA Convention. The proposal was tabled to ensure that the decision, which could change the face of the Convention for Division I, was the right one. The extra time will also allow for a study of the rules regarding the override process with an eye toward preserving the importance of the process.
The Board also preserved and sent out for comment Prop. No. 2010-48, which would require the NCAA national office to provide institutions with a list of acceptable recruiting services. The proposal has resource implications and the presidents believed that the same result could be achieved in a different way with additional time to discuss the matter.
In a final legislative move, the Board tabled Prop. No. 2010-109-B, adopted by the Council, which would allow for professional organizations to sponsor NCAA events. Board members wanted time to examine the proposal’s amateurism consequences.
The Division I legislative process specifies that no Legislative Council action is final until the close of the next Board meeting. The Board has the ability to table or restore legislation to the process, as it did Saturday, or take the opposite action of the Council.
In other business, the Board began a discussion about possible rules changes that could impact a student-athlete’s eligibility if a third party benefited from his or her recruitment. The presidents decided that a thoughtful discussion involving stakeholders – including coaches – on all sides of the issue was more important and plan to revisit the issue at its April meeting.