Brand: NCAA won't allow 'athletic looting'

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Division I basketball and football players
from schools closed by Hurricane Katrina will still have to sit out
for a year if they transfer to one of the many colleges that have
offered admission, NCAA president Myles Brand said Tuesday.

The NCAA said last month that it would bend some rules to help
students and schools deal with the hurricane, including letting
students compete without attending classes.

But during an appearance at the University of Rhode Island,
Brand said the only rule the NCAA would not bend was the one that
requires Division I basketball, football and hockey players to sit
out one year if they transfer to another Division I school. In other
sports, Division I athletes can transfer and play immediately at
another Division I school if they receive a release from the
original university.

Brand said the decision was made because the members of some
teams, including at least one from Tulane, planned to transfer
together to one school. That could lead to the new school taking
the entire team as its own, Brand said.

"Let me call that athletic looting, to be provocative, and we
won't stand for that," he said.

Some coaches at hurricane-affected schools in and around New
Orleans had complained to the NCAA that coaches at other schools
had tried to raid their teams and recruit their players, NCAA
spokesman Wally Renfro said.

Renfro said the NCAA expects many hurricane-affected schools to
continue to compete this year -- even if they don't have classes.

Other schools affected by the hurricane include LSU and New

The NCAA has eased some other rules, including those prohibiting
athletes from taking financial assistance from outside sources, and
those that require students to be enrolled full-time at their
college and university.