NCAA proposal allows one 'exempt' tourney per season

INDIANAPOLIS -- 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

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.