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NCAA Panel OKs Tighter Recruiting Rules

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Under new rules designed to take the ``celebrity'' out of the recruiting race, colleges will no longer be able to fly recruits on private jets, house them in resort hotels or feed them extravagant meals.

The NCAA Management Council concluded a two-day meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday and will forward the recommendations to the organization's board of directors for emergency approval Aug. 5.

The council also agreed to advance a package of proposals from the National Association of Basketball Coaches that focus on recruiting, retaining and graduating Division I basketball players.

The package includes granting players five years of eligibility, allowing coaches to talk with players outside the traditional player-coach environment and eliminating official visits to high school juniors in favor of increased phone calls.

The package will be examined by member schools, with an initial vote expected in January 2005 and a final vote in April.

The recruiting recommendations call for colleges and universities to use commercial airlines and coach airfares to fly athletes to campus, lodge them in ``standard'' accommodations and serve them reasonable meals.

``It's intended to do away with the celebrity, the sense of entitlement, for a prospect,'' said David Berst, NCAA vice president and chair of the recruiting task force.

The new rules, which would be in place for the upcoming academic year, also ban schools from giving recruits personalized jerseys or using audio/video scoreboard presentations with the player in it.

NCAA president Myles Brand created the recruiting task force in February after several high-profile scandals emerged, including at Colorado and Miami.
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