NCAA committee backs basketball scheduling changes


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The NCAA Management Council has approved a proposal allowing men’s and women’s college basketball teams to compete in one exempt tournament per season, and another that would move up the start of the season.

Among the modifications announced Wednesday are the elimination of a rule prohibiting teams from competing in regular-season tournaments such as the Maui Invitational more than twice in a four-year period. The council also wants to exempt conference tournaments, which now count one game against the NCAA’s regular-season game limit.

Those proposals will be considered by the NCAA’s board of directors April 27. If approved, the new rules would take effect next fall.

Teams would have the option to play 27 regular-season games, plus a preseason tournament such as the NIT Season Tip-Off or Maui Invitational. Teams not involved in tournaments could play up to 29 regular-season games.

The regular season also could start as much as one week earlier on the second Friday of November.

Council members also approved a proposal that would require schools to award scholarships on an annual basis rather than term-by-term.

But the council tabled two proposals that deal with medical expenses to look more closely at possible costs and whether such programs would create competitive inequity.

One proposal would limit expenses covered by the school to only those injuries or illnesses that are athletically related. The other would allow schools to buy medical insurance policies that would cover expenses for any athlete’s injury or illnesses.

The management council met Monday and Tuesday in Savannah, Ga.