NCAA to review academic issues of men's basketball players

Updated: May 29, 2007, 6:54 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA will examine issues facing men's basketball players in an effort to improve their academic performance.

NCAA officials announced Tuesday the formation of a group that includes coaches, athletic directors, college presidents and others to investigate issues that may be hindering academic achievement.

Dan Guerrero, UCLA's athletic director, will be chairman of the group, which is expected to submit recommendations to the Division I Board of Directors by the end of 2008.

"Nothing will be off the table," NCAA President Myles Brand said.

If not for an adjustment allowed for squad size, up to 45 percent of Division I men's basketball teams could face penalties for poor academic performance, Brand said during a conference call with other officials and reporters.

The panel will review several factors that affect basketball but not necessarily other sports, including length of season, the semester-straddling season, and time away from campus.

The group will look at "what would make sense in terms of basketball" to help student-athletes improve their academic performance, Guerrero said.

"Academic reform is here to stay and we need to work together to aggressively develop and implement solutions that ensure basketball student-athletes are as successful in the classroom as they are on the court," Brand said.

The NCAA compiles an Academic Progress Report that measures eligibility and retention of student athletes for every program at every Division I school.

Teams scoring less than 925 -- the equivalent of a 60-percent graduation rate under the NCAA's formula -- receive warning letters and can face stiffer penalties over time, up to disqualification from NCAA tournaments.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press