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For week ended September 05, 1999 Posted 4 Sep 1999

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Utah coach doesn't like NCAA calculations and USA Today reporting

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Utah coach doesn't like NCAA calculations and USA Today reporting
Casper WY Tribune (AP) 1Sep99 L3
By Tim Korte: AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Hoping to accentuate academic performance standards among student athletes, the NCAA has offered a proposal that would tie the number of allowable men's basketball scholarships to each program's graduation rate.

When USA Today reported that U of U had a 29 percent graduation rate, University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus called a news conference last Tuesday to vehemently complain. Its not because he doesnít agree with the basic concept, which is good, but because he doesn't like the way the NCAA calculates graduation statistics and feels have their "heads in the sand" on what true reality is for student athletes. (He also is miffed at USA Today for its prejudicial reporting.)

In the proposal, the statistics are calculated on the basis that for an athlete to be counted, he is required to finish an undergraduate degree in within six years from first enrollment. With NCAA mandatory one-year redshirting on transfers, early defections to the NBA and LDS missions for Mormon players, this calculation method is an impractical reality and doesní t reflect on the academic successes that really take place.

If the proposed rule is put into place, Coach Majerus is upset that the current low calculation would cost the U of U program one scholarship. He also feels that it a disservice to the student athlete who has eventually graduated at the best appropriate time for that individual athlete. (One such listed NCAA non-graduate is now a practicing M.D. in Idaho.) Additionally Coach Majerus states that the calculation method is very discriminatory against any school with Mormon players that serve missions, which hits the intermountain west colleges hard.

Coach Majerus would like to see the six-year rule dropped and count all players who do eventually graduate. Using this method, he figures that currently 72 percent of former U of U athletes have graduated, which will soon be up to 86 percent with the expected number of graduations at yearís end.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information