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Black Coaches, the NCAA Work Out a Settlement

March 23, 1994|JIM HODGES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The U.S. Justice Department will announce today in Washington that a settlement has been reached in a dispute between the Black Coaches Assn. and the NCAA.

Details were not immediately known, and all sides have agreed to wait until today's announcement before discussing it, said USC basketball Coach George Raveling, among the most active and outspoken BCA members.

An NCAA spokesman, Kathryn Reith, warned not to "expect an 'X, Y and Z statement.' There are some things the leadership can't guarantee until they are passed by a convention. The NCAA's governance process is such that any major issue has to be decided by the convention."

The Justice Department offered to mediate when the BCA threatened to boycott some college basketball games in January to protest the lot of black athletes and coaches.

The issue came to a head at last January's NCAA convention, when delegates rejected a proposal that would have restored the scholarship limit in Division I men's basketball from 13 to 14 with a 191-119 vote. The BCA said the failure to approve the scholarship proposal served to further limit blacks' access to higher education.

The scholarship issue was simply one of several grievances the BCA had against the NCAA.

"It goes far beyond that," said Washington State Coach Kelvin Sampson on Tuesday, adding that he did not know the details of the settlement. "The biggest thing we were after was academic reform to make a more level playing field for athletes. And we want more minorities in decision-making jobs in the NCAA."

The mediators--officials from the Community Relations and Civil Rights divisions of the Justice Department--have organized two sessions with the disputing parties, one by teleconference and one in person.

The latter was held last week in Chicago when Drake Coach Rudy Washington, president of the BCA, Georgetown Coach John Thompson and Temple Coach John Chaney met with NCAA and Justice Department officials.

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