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April 07, 2000 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-07

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 7, 2000 - 15

* Maligned NCAA to
examine new policies

Mortimer out for Duke

By Scott Street
Daily Bruin (UCLA)

The National Collegiate Athletic
Association is considering proposals
that would change the definition of ama-
teurism, NCAA president Cedric
Dempsey said at a Final Four press con-
ference last week in Indianapolis.
Athletes in violation of amateur stan-
dards were historically defined by the
NCAA as student athletes who compet-
ed professionally and/or accepted
money for their performances.
Violations in recent years have ranged
from Olympians accepting prize money
to athletes receiving assistance pay for
prep school tuition. A number of viola-
tions investigated this year by the NCAA
centered on youth basketball programs
that introduced a number of hwgh school
players to sports agents.
Dempsey told reporters gathered at
the RCA Dome that the college sports'
governing body was considering several
proposals, largely influenced by the
growing complexity of collegiate eligi-
W bility cases including those involving
this year's youth basketball.
"We need to start rebuilding the cul-
ture, wipe it out completely," Dempsey
said. "We're going to change the culture
and have the right people making the
right decisions of where these student
athletes go to school."
The NCAA is considering proposals,
which would allow student athletes to
take out loans based on their future earn-'
ing potential as professionals and insure
V themselves against potentially career-,
ending injuries. The proposals would
also allow high school graduates who
compete professionally before enrolling
at a university to go back to college and
be eligible to compete on the amateur
level.
According to Jane Jankowski, Public
Information Coordinator for the NCAA,
the proposals announced last week have
9 been in the making for more than two
years following an increase in reinstate-
ment requests filed by student athletes
who have violated the NCAA's standards
for amateur athletes.
"We are trying to find a way to
include these athletes as a result of pos-
sible violations," Jankowski said.
Though Dempsey cited recent viola-
tions involving college basketball play-
ers such as brothers Kareem and JaRon
Rush when announcing the proposals,
*Jankowski said that the legislation would
cover all sports and was in development
long before this year's cases.
"This is something we were address-
ing before some of the most recent eligi-
bility cases," Jankowski said. "It is

geared towards all of the sports in the
NC A A."
The NCAA had come under attack in
recent months for their investigations of
several college basketball players,
including UCLA's Rush, who was ini-
tially suspended for 44 games for
accepting money from a former AAU
youth basketball coach and a sports
agent. The suspension was later reduced
to 24 games after UCLA filed an appeal.
The complexity of that case prompted
UCL A Athletics Director Peter Dalis to
say Feb. 1, "You are talking about a
young man who made a decision when
he was 16 or 17 years old ... to hold him
accountable is difficult. The intellectual
separation cannot be made for a young
man of that age."
The NCAA, as Dempsey noted, hopes
that this new legislation could limit the
influence agents have on student ath-
letes, in addition to loosening the strict
definition of amateurism the NCAA has
held.
"It is going to take months of educa-
tion," NCAA spokesman Wally Renfro
told The New York Times last week.
"The notion of something that's been
there 100 years, this concept of ama-
teurism is a Holy Grail. The perception
has been that if you go play pro, you're
dirty"

By David Moss.
Daily Sports Writer
After a week off, the Michigan men's
track and field team returns to action this
week as they travel to Durham, N.C. to
compete in the Duke Invitational. The
Wolverines are hoping to continue their
solid start to the outdoor campaign as
they take on a rugged field that includes
over 80 schools.
Head Coach Ron Warhurst plans to
bring a large 30-man contingent to
Carolina, for what he terms a "highly
competitive meet." Warhurst hopes the
one week hiatus prepared the Wolverines
for this difficult test.
"It gave our guys a chance to regroup
after being away for so long," Warhurst
said. "The guys knew what they had to
work on and are in better shape."
The only two notable absences will be
distance runner John Mortimer and
jumper Oded Padan. Mortimer is still
bothered by soreness in his leg but is
expected back soon. Padan's situation is a
bit more complicated. A variety of med-
ical tests have yet to pinpoint the exact
source of his ailment. His status for the
rest of the season is extremely cloudy.
"I told Oded I need him back by the
Ohio State Quadrangular" on April 22nd
,Warhurst said. "That is a scoring meet
and we need his points."
Two Wolverines who haven't skipped
a beat since the indoor campaign are dis-

tance runners Steve Lawrence and M ike
Wisniewski. Lawrence, who garntered
All-American honors indoors, is off to a
flying a start. Two weeks ago at the
Stanford Quadrangular, Lawrence scored
the second-fastest time in the Big Ten
thus far, in the 10,000 meters. Not far
behind was Wisniewski, who posted the
third fastest time in the conference.
The most impressive performer of the
young season has been pole vaulter
Charles DeWildt, who has rebounded
well from the disappointment of not
qualifying for the NCAA
Championships during indoor season.
Dewildt's performance at the Florida
State Relays landed him the top spot in
the Big Ten Rankings.
These strong showings, coupled with
the return to health of sprinter Ike
Okenwa and distance runner Jay Cantin,
have Warhurst very optimistic.
"I like where we are right now,'
Warhurst said. "The guys are working
really hard and it bodes well for the
future."
This weekend's competition will be
held in Wallace Wade Stadium, the site of
the NCAA Championships in early June,
where many Wolverines hope to end their
season. But Warhurst warns against
expecting too much at this early juncture
in the season.
"It's like Spring Training," Warhurst
said. "We are still feeling our way and
finding out what different guys con do

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Michigan's Jamal Crawford was suspended by the NCAA for violating an ama-
teurism bylaw. The NCAA is considering a redefinition of amateurism.

* 1

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