NCAA Approves Basketball Proposals

Summer evaluation of men's basketball prospects will continue for at least an additional two years under a set of reform bylaws approved today by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. The Board's action reversed a bylaw change from April 2000 that would have eliminated summer evaluation in 2002.

The Board amended the package that had come from the Men's Basketball Issues Subcommittee to say that at the end of the two years the Board will receive a report from the subcommittee on the effect of the new bylaws on the basketball-recruiting environment.

Specifically, the proposals would:

Strengthen the process for certifying summer basketball events, including a requirement for comprehensive educational and mentoring activities as well as disclosure of financial information about the sources of funds for the events and how they are allocated.

Alter the Division I men's basketball recruiting calendar to reflect a summer evaluation period of two 10-day periods separated by a four-day dead period (July 8 to 17 and July 22 to 31); to permit one telephone call to a prospect during the month of March of the junior year; to permit one recruiting contact with a prospect during the April contact period of this junior year, to be included in the five permissible recruiting opportunities; to allow official visits beginning January 1 of the junior year; to establish 40 as the number of evaluation days during the academic year; and to eliminate evaluations during the fall contact period except for activities at the prospect's educational institution.

Prohibit university staff members who are attending certified summer events from having contact with a prospect's coach or other individuals associated with the prospect. The proposal also prohibits unofficial visits during July.

Require Division I colleges and universities to publicly disclose information about the financial relationships among institutions, corporations and coaches of prospects. Institutions that do not disclose the information will not be permitted to participate in the July evaluation period.

Allow the restricted coach in men's and women's basketball to participate in off-campus recruiting during the summer evaluation period and academic year, without increasing the number of coaches who can recruit off campus at any one time.

In another decision, the Board defeated a motion that would have overturned action taken October 22-23 by the Management Council to set a new reinstatement policy for the Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Subcommittee as it considers violations of bylaws for student-athletes who competed on a "tier-one" professional team prior to initial eligibility, but are otherwise eligible under NCAA rules. In effect, the Board sustained the Management Council's policy decision that the reinstatement condition would be to withhold a student-athlete from a maximum of 20 percent of the number of professional contests played or eight games, whichever is less. The policy primarily affects international basketball student-athletes who have participated in international leagues.

This action changes the existing policy of the reinstatement subcommittee, which specifies that student-athletes who participated in first-tier-level professional competition in a foreign country would be withheld from one intercollegiate game for each professional game played.

Also on the Board's agenda was consideration of the Management Council's action to modify the Association's "5/8" bylaw. The rule has limited the number of initial grants that may be awarded to men's basketball players to eight in a consecutive two-year period, with no more than five initial grants in one of those two years.

The Board approved the Council's modification that would allow institutions to award up to a total of nine initial grants for student-athletes who enrolled during this academic year and 2002-03, with no more than five initial grants in one year. The Board also asked the Administrative Review Subcommittee, which can set aside application of the rule, to develop criteria under which relief from the rule can be granted when reasonably necessary.

The "5/8" limit would resume for student-athletes who enroll in 2003-04 with the change that when the number of student-athletes who graduate in any given year combined with those who leave an institution early but who are on track to graduate within five years exceeds the number of initial grants provided during that same given year, the school would earn one additional initial grant. However, the limit on total grants cannot exceed 13.

In other action, the Board:

Approved a proposal that will establish additional criteria for certified events. Specifically, the proposal would prohibit certification of an event if it is conducted in a venue where sports wagering on intercollegiate athletics is permitted or on property sponsored by an establishment that permits sports wagering on college sports or is branded with signage for such an establishment.

Approved a bylaw that extends voting privileges to student-athletes on some Division I and association-wide committees.

Tabled a recommendation that would permit a Division I-A institution to be bowl-eligible with a winning percentage of .500 during 12-game seasons.

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