NCAA Pass Sweeping Reforms

By Associated PressApril 30, 2004, 4:00 pm
NCAAThe NCAA approved a sweeping package of academic reforms April 29 that will penalize schools starting in 2006 if athletes perform too poorly in the classroom.
This is the beginning of a sea change in college sports, NCAA president Myles Brand said. Landmark legislation was passed to ensure each and every student-athlete has a genuine opportunity to receive a high quality education and graduate.
Athletes will have to stay above a still-undetermined graduation rate for schools to avoid punishment.
Brand said graduation targets for each school are being calculated. This fall, he said, each school will be notified how much at risk it would have been had the new standards already been in place.
The Division I Management Council originally proposed waiting an extra year before putting the reforms in place, but the NCAA Board of Directors decided to push it up to 2006 because it felt data wouldn't change much by waiting.
The board previously voted to increase the number of core courses needed for freshman eligibility and to increase the number of hours required toward graduation to remain eligible.
Another piece of the package, approved last fall, required athletes to complete 20 percent of their degree requirements each year to remain eligible. The latest measure was designed to make the colleges themselves more accountable for keeping athletes on track to graduate.
We're starting immediately to make these reforms real, said Robert Hemenway, chancellor of the University of Kansas and chairman of the Division I board.
The graduation rate cut line will be the same in all sports.
Schools that fall below that line will receive warning letters beginning in 2006-07. Consistently poor performing teams could begin losing scholarships in 2007-08 and postseason eligibility and money from NCAA tournaments starting in 2008-09.
Also, if a scholarship athlete leaves school while not academically eligible, that scholarship may not be replaced for one year under a contemporaneous penalty that goes into effect this fall.
This is a critically important set of legislative measures, the strongest ever passed by the NCAA, and different in kind because it holds teams as well as institutions accountable, Brand said.
The board also rescinded the so-called 5-8 rule, which allowed a school to award five basketball scholarships in one year or eight scholarships in a two-year period.
With so much progress having been made, combined with the pieces already in place, the 5-8 rule probably was unnecessary, Hemenway said.
He said the reforms, with penalties to back up the tougher standards, send a message to athletes that if you come to our institutions, we're going to do everything in our power to make sure you graduate.
I think what we did today will result in enhanced standards, in improved measurements of how successfully those standards are being met, and a significant increase in accountability on the part of the institutions, athletic departments, individual teams and individual student-athletes, Hemenway said.
The board also discussed, but took no action, on recommendations by a task force on recruiting.
Brand formed the committee in February following allegations by two women who said Colorado football players or recruits raped them at a party in 2001. A third woman said she was assaulted in a dorm room shortly afterward, and since 1997, at least eight women have accused Colorado football players of rape.
The recommendations will be considered in July and are expected to be sent to the Board of Directors in time to enact new rules before the 2004-05 recruiting season.
The board looked at it briefly. . . . There was some interest in strengthening that package,'' said David Berst, NCAA vice president for Division I.
The task force recommendations include a requirement that each NCAA school adopt a written policy on recruiting and accountability for compliance. They also include a requirement that hosts for athletes either be members of the teams for which the prospects are being recruited or others chosen the same way the college provides hosts to prospective students in general.
The group also urged requiring recruits and hosts to sign a form agreeing not to engage in inappropriate conduct as defined by the college.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.