2002: NCAA proposals could end fall season

Division I men’s and women’s golf coaches hope to amend some of the changes being considered by the NCAA regarding playing and practice time for student-athletes.

A Sept. 30 memo from the NCAA to the Golf Coaches Association of America said the NCAA was seeking ways to “reduce time demands on student-athletes and permit those individuals to pursue athletic and academic achievement as well as participate in the social and cultural activities of their respective institutions.”

Options being considered include cutting the playing and practice season from 144 days to 126, and requiring two days off per week (which can’t include travel days).

One of the statements on the survey dealt with the elimination of competition in the nonchampionship segment. This would eliminate the fall golf season.

“The coaches are up in arms. The players are up in arms,” said GCAA executive director Gregg Grost. “Athletes by sports do things differently. You can’t put golf in there with football and basketball. It’s absurd.

“We’ll compile the responses from the coaches and the players and get it to them (by an Oct. 25 deadline). Hopefully, they’ll see that if they do some of the things they’re thinking about, it could change the entire face and structure of college golf.”

National Golf Coaches Association executive director Roger Yaffe said his members – who coach women’s golf programs – also are making their opinions known: “We want our association to respond to this because of the impact it could have on our sport. We plan to let the NCAA know that even though we didn’t get a formal letter, we still want to do something about it. We, like the men, are very concerned as to the direction the NCAA is heading.”

Coaches, too, are concerned.

“I don’t understand what they’re (NCAA) trying to do,” said Memphis men’s coach Jim Cook. “Our people (golfers) make good grades and have one of the best graduation rates of any student-athletes.”

Added East Tennessee State men’s coach and Division I NCAA Golf Committee member Fred Warren, “I hope the golf committee will be able to have some input on this. One of the worst things that could happen is the elimination of the fall season. That would be devastating.” m

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