NCAA rule on exempt tournaments may be scrapped

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA would scrap a rule prohibiting men's and women's basketball teams from playing in more than two exempt tournaments in a four-year period under a compromise reached Sunday by the Division I Management Council.

The proposal, one of about 140 heard during the NCAA convention, will be sent to member schools and conferences for comment before it is considered again in April, when the council will make its recommendation to the board of directors, said David Berst, NCAA Division I vice president.

Under the plan, the two-in-four rule would be eliminated and schools would be allowed to participate in an event each year, but in the same event only once in four years.

It also would designate the second Friday in November as the common start date for events and the regular season. The total number of regular-season games would remain at 28, but participation in an exempt tournament -- such as the Preseason NIT -- would count as only one game.

In March, the NCAA bought the rights to the preseason and postseason NITs as part of a settlement that ended a four-year legal battle.

"We're now in a position where we can go forward on legislation to address the season," Berst said. "What the Management Council decided to do was simply avoid talking about those pieces of legislation and took up a separate proposal. ... It was something of a compromise proposal that we've developed over time to address the various issues we've encountered in the court cases."

The council passed almost 50 other proposals, defeated about 35 and deferred action on the rest until its April meeting.

Among those approved and forwarded to the board of directors was one to change the beginning and ending dates for baseball and keep the maximum number of regular-season games at 56 instead of cutting it to 52.

A proposal to allow five seasons of football eligibility during a player's initial five-year enrollment was withdrawn, and the number of recruiting person-days in women's basketball was kept at 85 after votes on proposals to increase it to 105 and 130 were defeated.