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It's a smaller overhaul than fans expected after NCAA officials spoke extensively about the format for a 96-team field four weeks ago, but it hasn't stopped the talk about additional expansion.
The new TV deal gives the NCAA sole authority to expand again, a possibility some observers believe will happen in the near future. Don't bet on it.
"Field size of any event is something people like to debate, but it's not something the committee is interested in taking on in the foreseeable future," Shaheen said.
Tourney expansion was only part of the board's busy schedule Thursday.
It also endorsed a recommendation that would require football players to complete nine credit hours during the fall semester to be eligible for the following season. And the Committee on Academic Performance wants to eliminate waivers for Football Bowl Subdivision teams that lose players who are academically ineligible after completing their eligibility. The board believes the elimination of those waivers will force schools to place greater emphasis on retaining athletes.
Both proposals are expected to be added to the 2010-11 legislative calendar.
Other discussion topics on the board's agenda included the use of athletes' names, images and likenesses in commercial products; new rules for handling athlete concussions; and tougher academic standards for junior college transfers. The NCAA did not immediately give any indication of what the board did on those issues.
As usual, though, the men's basketball tourney stole the show.
"The basketball committee very intensely got into determining the tournament structure in the last two years, so it's been an extensive journey," Shaheen said. "But we also recognize it's just one of the 88 championships, so we've still got a lot of work to do. We still have a significant amount of (television) rights to work on."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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