Last week, the NCAA overturned the controversial "5/8 Scholarship Rule". The board of directors also unanimously approved a "landmark academic reform package" that is aimed at both the student-athletes and universities.
The 5/8 Rule, which states that a school can award five
basketball scholarships in one year or eight scholarships in a two-year period,
had been in place in 2001.
It was originally started because the NCAA wanted to prevent coaches from running off players and to help lower the number of players that transferred each year.
However, stats have shown that the rule was not able to accomplish either, and it was not helping the game of college basketball.
Numerous college coaches felt the rule was detrimental because it did not take into account the various factors that cause student-athletes to leave school or transfer to another school.
National Association of Basketball Coaches Associate Director Reggie Minton claims that almost 200 scholarships went unused last season, with at least 160 of those coming from Division I programs.
With the spring signing period coming to an end this will probably not help a number of programs this year, however in the future, programs will definitely benefit from the NCAA's decision to axe the rule.
Academic Reform Package
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors also adopted a "landmark academic reform package",, as NCAA President Myles Brand described. "This package holds both the student-athletes and the schools accountable."
President Brand stressed that the new academic accountability requirements for institutions and teams build on new academic standards established last fall for student-athletes to ensure steady progress toward degree completion.
Those measures include requiring student-athletes to complete 40 percent of degree requirements by the end of their second year of college, 60 percent by the end of their third year and 80 percent by the end of year four.
This reform package is aimed at dramatically strengthening the educational success of student-athletes and holding universities and teams accountable was unanimously approved by the board of directors last week.
The board of directors also approved measures on foreign tours and exhibition games played by Division I schools.
This measure permits foreign tours by Division I sports teams, as long as they do not occur within 30 days before the first permissible practice date.
The measure takes effect November 1 but honors contracts for foreign tours signed before October 21, 2003.
Under this measure, Division I men's basketball teams will be prohibited from playing against non-collegiate teams starting August 1.
The measure approved by the Board allows teams to honor contracts with non-collegiate teams signed before October 21, 2003.
The measure is designed to eliminate unfair advantages that might be created by prospective recruits playing on non-collegiate teams, such as foreign teams or U.S. club teams.