INDIANAPOLIS --- The NCAA Division I Management Council is forwarding a proposal to make several changes to the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, including allowing teams to compete in exempt tournaments each year and setting a definitive start date to the season.
Meeting at the NCAA’s annual convention, the Management Council voted Sunday to forward the proposal to Division I member colleges and universities for comment. The proposal will come back to the Management Council and Division I Board of Directors for consideration in April.
The proposal would eliminate previous limits on exempt tournament play, known as the “2-in-4” rule. The rule limited Division I basketball teams from competing in these tournaments – such as the NIT Season Tip-Off and the Great Alaska Shootout – more than twice in a four-year period.
Legal challenges to the “2-in-4” rule in the MIBA and Worldwide lawsuits concluded last year, paving the way for these proposed changes, said David Berst, NCAA vice-president for Division I.
“The ‘2-in-4’ rule has been an impediment for some time, and now there is the opportunity to make changes that will benefit teams, players and fans,” Berst said.
The proposal would allow teams to compete in the exempt tournaments each season. The tournaments can sponsor up to four games, and together those games would be counted as one toward the 28-game regular-season limit for teams.
Teams would not be able to compete in a specific tournament more than once every four years, and the legislation prevents more than one team from a conference from competing in the same tournament.
The measure retains the provision that exempts two preseason basketball exhibition contests or scrimmages from maximum contest limits, and it also exempts conference season-ending tournaments from the 28-game limit.
The proposal would eliminate the event certification process, which Berst said would not be necessary with the new legislation.
The proposal sets the second Friday in November as the first date that basketball games can be played, which would establish a uniform start date for regular season contests.
In other legislative business Sunday, the Management Council:
- Approved a measure to allow Division I football teams with a 6-6 won-loss record to compete in bowl games if their conferences have a contractual agreement with the bowl. The Division I Board of Directors will consider the measure on Monday.
- Defeated a measure to allow Division I student-athletes to use nontraditional courses (such as distance learning, correspondence, extension and credit-by-examination courses) to meet progress-toward-degree requirements. NCAA President Myles Brand convened a national working group last month to examine such issues.
- Defeated a measure to give campuses more flexibility in using student-athlete names, pictures or appearances in promotional activities. Upon reconsideration, the council agreed to send the proposal out for comment to member institutions without support. The Board of Directors sponsored the legislation, saying such flexibility is needed to accommodate changing multimedia technology used in promotions. The Board of Directors likely will review the measure on Monday.
- Defeated a proposal to reduce the number of baseball games from 56 to 52. The council did approve setting the first practice date in baseball on February 1 and the first date of competition on the last Friday in February. The dates will be considered by the Division I Board of Directors on Monday.
A proposal to give Division I football players five years of eligibility was withdrawn by its sponsor, the Ohio Valley Conference.
Overall, the Management Council took action on approximately 140 pieces of legislation during its meeting on Sunday.