2002: College response fends off NCAA cutbacks

Orlando, Fla.

College golf coaches banded together and voiced their concerns, and it appears the NCAA has listened.

The NCAA sent out a survey in November concerning legislation it was considering that could affect playing and practice time for student-athletes. One of the major items dealt with cutting back, or perhaps eliminating, the fall golf season.

The men’s (Golf Coaches Association of America) and women’s (National Golf Coaches Association) coaches united, and overwhelmed the NCAA with responses.

“The NCAA Board of Directors cited the golf coaches for doing an outstanding job in responding to the survey,” Amy Haworth of the NCAA Membership Services department said at last week’s GCAA and NGCA conventions at the Sheraton World Resort. “I feel it had an impact with the board.”

Haworth said the NCAA plans to continue to review playing and practice time, but it will do so by looking at the nature of different sports.

“The board indicated it would not take a cookie-cutter approach in this matter but rather look at each sport,” she said. “There are still a number of things they will be looking at, but right now it really doesn’t appear that they want to cut down the playing days.”

Three changes that are under consideration are allowing student-athletes two days off per week in the out-of-season period; not being able to use a travel day as a student-athlete’s day off; and limiting multi-sport athletes to 20 hours of athletic activities per week.

The vast majority of coaches attending the convention felt all three were reasonable and things they could work with.

“Having the NCAA thinking about looking at each sport separately is a huge plus for golf,” said GCAA executive director Gregg Grost. “I think the way the coaches, men and women, rallied together on some of these issues showed the NCAA how much we care about our sport and our student-athletes.”

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