NCAA hopes reforms can refocus college sports

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 28, 2011 - 1:13 PM

Spending money for athletes and team standards on academic progress are in response to the latest scandals.


The student-athlete stipend could cost the University of Minnesota about $650,000 annually, based on the Gophers’ having the equivalent of 324.4 full scholarships.

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The NCAA on Thursday announced two major reforms in college sports meant to combat the problems of student-athletes getting money from outside sources to help with their expenses and failing to make satisfactory progress toward obtaining their degrees.

As a result, college athletic conferences can authorize their member schools to provide up to $2,000 over the amount of a full scholarship to athletes for spending money. The new rule will apply to "student-athletes who receive full athletics scholarships or get other school financial aid," according to the NCAA.

At the same time, the Division I Board of Directors also announced new penalties that could keep entire teams from competing for championships if too many of their players fail to make adequate progress toward their degrees as measured by an NCAA standard called the Academic Progress Rate. The baseline score required has been raised from 900 to 930, which roughly translates to graduating about half the players on a given roster. Had that standard been in place last school year, eight football teams and seven men's basketball teams -- including the Michigan football squad that went to the Gator Bowl and NCAA men's basketball champs UConn -- would have been affected.

Implementation will start in the 2012-13 school year, and the new system will be fully in place by 2015.

The intent is for it to be waived only under extraordinary circumstances.

'A clear signal'

The new rules are "a clear signal to the world about what we care about and what we stand for," NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi called the moves a success.

"It's not perfect in anybody's mind, but we're trying to address the needs of student-athletes academically and from a social and financial standpoint. I think it's a step in the right direction," Maturi said.

It's unclear how many Gophers athletes would be affected by the changes.

Football, men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, women's tennis and women's volleyball are all "head-count" sports that require full scholarships, though student-athletes in other sports could also be eligible.

Will the money be enough?

Will the new allowance for spending money be enough? Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany -- who characterized the changes overall as "the strongest, quickest, boldest group of reforms" -- brought up at the conference's basketball media day studies that show the average athlete pays more than $2,000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses. However, the board will not revisit the $2,000 figure for three years, the NCAA said.

It is believed by many, including Maturi, that the Big Ten and other major conferences will act uniformly to give out the additional money -- which must be provided by the schools.

Maturi acknowledged the fear that the money could create a system of haves and have-nots among bigger and smaller schools.

"I can't speak for Commissioner Delany or other Big Ten ADs," Maturi said, "but I'm sitting here saying that if the other BCS conferences go down that path, I don't know how you don't go down that path from a recruiting and competitive standpoint."

The Gophers' most recent marks in two key sports were above 930 -- men's basketball was at 964 and football was at 935. "Some of these numbers are going to be a challenge" going forward, Maturi said.

The plan also raises GPA standards in certain core courses for incoming freshmen and junior college transfers from 2.0 to 2.3. Additionally, it created new recruiting guidelines that some hope will limit how much the power of agents.

The tougher entrance requirements could force some freshmen to become "academic redshirts," under scholarship and practicing with their teams but barred from playing in games.

"I think it's a good day for college athletics," Maturi said. "A lot of people worked extremely hard on this."

This report contains material from Star Tribune wire services.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question