Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Skip navigation

NCAA Attendance Issue Update


NCAA Attendance Issue Update

Don't have an official link to the story. This was pulled from the ncabbs board.

NCAA attendance requirement no longer 'do-or-die'
By Adam Sparks / DNJ Staff Writer

The only numbers that will define MTSU's place in Division I-A football this season will be on the scoreboard.

That realization comes from the results of Thursday's NCAA Board of Directors meeting in Indianapolis, an event that saw the Division I-A football attendance requirements amended by a unanimous vote in favor of schools battling to reach the average home attendance mark of 15,000.

"This is good news for MTSU," said MTSU President Sidney McPhee, who pushed for the amendment as a member of the NCAA Board of Directors.

"We amended the original recommendation and then approved it. And what it means is that it's not going to be one year and you're out (of Division I-A). This gives universities like Middle Tennessee time to adjust and grow ? a little bit of time, but still time."

The original recommendation of the guideline called for all I-A members to draw a home average of 15,000 fans over a season, or else face immediate expulsion from the I-A level.

The amended version instead makes a first offense ? failing to reach the 15,000 mark ? a warning. If a member school's average is below the 15,000 mark for the first year, a second offense within the next nine years would bring ejection from I-A.

However, that is assuming a second year under the new rule ever arrives.

"More significantly is that we have approved a full year to review the rule," McPhee said. "That's the bigger news. We're going to take some time to study the membership criteria, so that we can put it to a legal test and examine other issues involved in it because there are a lot of questions to be answered.

"That also provides some time so that there won't be any concerns this year as far as a do-or-die situation. It's not going be a this-way-or-the-highway thing like when it was proposed three years ago. The Board has the final say now, and we exercised that authority."

The board of directors may study the attendance policy itself for next year's final vote or a subcommittee could be appointed.

McPhee, who seconded the motion for the one-year overview, said the policy could face some integrity issues.

"We'll look over every issue with the policy, and then we can either totally eliminate it or affirm it."

Either way, MTSU ? which averaged an attendance of 11,021 last year ? knows that its Division I-A status will not be in jeopardy when this season's home opener kicks off against Florida Atlantic Sept. 18.

"It's kind of a Catch-22 for me because I don't want us to relax and take a deep breath. In that way, I have mixed feelings," McPhee said. "We have to keep our focus on filling that stadium. This just gives us a little more time and some temporary relief.

"It was explained to us (during the NCAA meeting) that it's a soft landing rather than a crash. That's a good way to describe it."

Another notable issue passed in Thursday's meeting was an eight-part policy that places university presidents in a heightened position of authority and accountability in terms of their athletic department's recruiting practices.

The policy calls for university presidents to approve the recruiting guidelines for their own school's athletic department ? therefore, making those presidents accountable for potential violations.

"With power comes accountability, and that puts presidents in the middle of everything," McPhee said. "But if you hire good coaches and a good athletic director like we have at Middle Tennessee, you don't have to overstep your bounds.

"This just demands that presidents become more involved and informed in their own institution's athletics. It doesn't mean that you run the operations, but you'd better know what's going on."
Back to the top


NCAA Attendance Issue Update

This is from the Sentinel. It explains it a little better.

Read on:

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.

Back to the top