NCAA Supports Measure To Clean Up Basketball Recruiting

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- NCAA leaders began the post-Myles Brand era Thursday by following his penchant for change.

The board of directors unanimously endorsed a series of new rules intended to clean up men's basketball recruiting, the executive committee approved a $35 million addition to the governing body's headquarters, and new executive committee chairman Ed Ray detailed the search process to find a replacement for Brand, who died last month of pancreatic cancer.

The most immediate changes will be seen in men's basketball, where the board approved one series of measures to toughen existing recruiting rules and offered support for additional measures to prevent the funneling of money to those close to recruits.

Additional proposals would put an end to consulting fees paid by the schools and prohibit schools from hiring a recruit's high school or summer league coaches to help with summer camps or clinics. If rules are approved, violators could be suspended from NCAA regular-season or postseason games.

The package drew support from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the AAU and conference commissioners.

"I think it really places the enforcement of these standards as a very high priority," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said. "The commissioners also encouraged the board of directors to think about making sure the enforcement staff has enough resources to enforce it."

What else could change?

College basketball seasons could get shorter.

In January, the Legislative Council will consider a proposal that trims the number of regular-season games from 29 to 28, or 26 with an exempt tournament. The committees will continue to debate other proposals that would allow schools to pay for travel expenses of a recruit's parents or legal guardians during official visits and mandatory summer school.

The other big task: Finding Brand's replacement.

"Our target will be to follow the timetable consistent with most campuses, and that is to have a new president in place by the beginning of the next academic year," Ray said.

The Oregon State president will lead a six-member search committee that began meeting Thursday. The other committee members are Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman, Hampton University president William Harvey, Molloy College president Drew Bogner, Widener University president James Harris and Weber State president Ann Millner.

Ray said none of the six would be candidates to become president.

That added to speculation that Georgia president Michael Adams, who abruptly stepped down as the executive committee chairman, will be on the short list to be Brand's successor.

Adams has said, however, he intends to retire at Georgia. On Thursday, he reiterated the point.

"I feel strongly that the people who will work with the next president need to be in charge of that search. I feel like I did what I came to do and what I promised Myles to do," he said. "After what's been required of me the past nine months, I think I need to remind people that I still have a day job at the University of Georgia."

The executive committee also approved a 130,000-square-foot expansion project for the NCAA headquarters.

Adams said the building NCAA officials moved into in 1999 was set up for 350 employees. The governing body now has about 500 employees including a 70-person eligibility center that has been using the NCAA's offsite warehouse for office space.

The project is expected to begin early next year.

"We decided that the market was such that it was advantageous to do that now," Adams said. "We want the eligibility office to move here and have a little growth room, and the new NCAA president then will not have to deal with that issue."