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NCAA May Bar Freshmen Basketball

June 9, 1999

Freshmen would be barred from playing basketball under a proposal being considered by a special NCAA panel, according to USA Today.

The proposal, aimed at giving both men and woman players a year to become accustomed to campus life, is given a 50-50 chance of being endorsed, NCAA president Cedric Dempsey told the newspaper.

The 27-member panel studying the proposal includes school presidents, athletic directors and retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith.

Junior college transfers and international players also would be barred from playing in their first year at school.

The panel has moved toward an initial draft of recommendations to be presented at a June 23 meeting in Chicago, USA Today said.

Less radical proposals also are being considered, including one which would keep freshmen from playing until Jan. 1 or a school’s second semester. Another idea would expand scholarships to cover summer enrollment before a student’s first full year at school.

A ban on freshmen players would likely discourage some top high school players from going to college, presumably trying instead to go right to the NBA.

Dempsey conceded that could happen, but added, ``College isn’t for everybody.″

The committee also is studying a proposal that would delay the start of the season more than a month until Christmas.

Also, the group is looking into an idea that would tie scholarship limits to a school’s graduation rate.

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