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Scandals Inspire Meeting

Integrity will be the major issue for college basketball coaches at Oct. 15 gathering.

September 05, 2003|Paul Gutierrez | Times Staff Writer

Seemingly embarrassed by a wave of scandal that has washed over its sport in the last six months, the National Assn. of Basketball Coaches is holding a required meeting for Division I coaches on Oct. 15 in Chicago. Coaches who choose not to attend risk losing their ticket privileges to next spring's Final Four in San Antonio.

"We hope that this summit will provide a basis for our coaches and our association to proactively move forward toward greater integrity in our sport," Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson, who also serves as the NABC President, said in a release.

The release also said that the meeting will "focus on topics concerning accountability and ethical conduct of coaches at all levels of NCAA basketball competition but specifically at the NCAA Division I level."

Reputations have been sullied by recruiting improprieties at Auburn, a murder case at Baylor, improper benefits to players at Fresno State and Michigan, academic fraud at Georgia, a coach's partying with students before being fired at Iowa State, academic irregularities and improper benefits at Missouri and transfer violations at St. Bonaventure.

First-year UCLA Coach Ben Howland said he planned to be among the approximately 327 head coaches at the O'Hare Airport Hyatt Regency for the meeting, though he said the timing could be better.

"I have no problem going to the meeting with all the coaches, but I just wish that it was planned a little sooner because ... there's a lot going on," he said.

"On the 16th, we have media day, with all the coaches of Southern California at the L.A. Athletic Club, so it makes the logistics of getting there and getting back very difficult. I have a function, a very important function that has to do with the university on the 14th so for me, it's a tough deal."

USC Coach Henry Bibby, through university spokesman Paul Goldberg, declined comment, saying he would speak about the meeting after it occurs.

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