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Archive for Saturday, January 11, 1992

LEGISLATION TO CHANGE SPORTS

January 11, 1992

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Those new stricter academic standards for NCAA athletic scholarships will change the face of major college programs when they go into effect in 1995.

That's the opinion of Kansas football coach Glen Mason, who calls the legislation passed at this week's NCAA convention in Anaheim "monumental."

Starting in 1995, high school athletes must have two more core courses and must maintain significantly higher grade point averages, or they won't qualify for an NCAA grant.

"I think it'll make a dramatic change in Division I football and basketball as we know it today," Mason said. "I would have liked to have seen it done more gradually. If guys aren't aware in the ninth and 10th grade, they won't be able to catch up."

MANY HIGH school athletes who wouldn't qualify under those guidelines, Mason noted, are still capable of doing college work. Like, for instance, Tony Sands.

"Not everybody recognizes the Tony Sandses of the world who have come in and done a good job," Mason said.

Mason said he wasn't sure if Sands, who came to KU in the fall of 1988 from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., would have qualified under terms of the new legislation, but the KU coach said, "I don't think he'd have made it."

Mason also voiced concern about legislation that would allow enrolled athletes to request information about their professional market value without losing their eligibility so long as they don't retain an agent.

The measure specifies that an athlete can seek advice and help from family members, or from the professional counseling service at their school.

MASON DOESN'T like that new rule because he says it's a distraction.

"You lose control over them," Mason said. "They're not thinking about weight training and they're not thinking about spring practice. . .I'm not trying to take away from them earning a living. I just have a concern about it."

Two other pieces of new NCAA legislation drew a thumbs-up from Mason, however.

One lengthens the parameters of spring practice from 22 to 29 days without increasing the number of sessions. The other restores the ninth assistant coach who had been legislated out of existence last January, effective on Aug. 1.

Mason has contended that the ninth aide is necessary because of the increased accountability of head coaches in the areas of academics and deportment.

"I LIKE IT. . .it's better," Mason said. "I would think that everybody in the (coaching) work force feels better because it would have meant 106 fewer jobs."

Mason was referring to the 106 schools classified in the NCAA Div. I-A category.

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