Thursday, July 09, 2009

College Athletic Conference Takes on the NCAA

by Jeff Greer,

"Complying with NCAA rules is a lot harder when a school is feeling the effects of a major economic downturn. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone when a group of small-college presidents and the conference to which their schools belong say they can't afford to keep up with the NCAA's newest set of mandated updates.

There just isn't enough room in some schools' budgets to adhere to the rules that the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel created in 2008, says the Presidents Council of the Centennial Conference, a small, Division III athletics league headquartered in Lancaster, Pa.

The conference, which features 11 full and five associate members, says that dealing with the current economic recession takes precedence over spending extra money on the NCAA's required updates to all members' athletics facilities, Inside Higher Ed reports. The NCAA said that all schools with football teams must give referees wireless microphones to announce penalties. And, for schools with basketball teams, all backboards must have lights that go off when time expires and shot clocks that show tenths of seconds. All the updates must be done before the 2010 fall season.

It's not the changes with which the conference disagrees, Centennial Conference Executive Director Steven Ulrich says—it's the timing of them."

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