Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, April 27, 2001


Hawaii NCAA
tourneys get some
breathing room

Rainbow Classic and Maui
Invitational are safe through
2003-04 season after
NCAA postpones decision

By Dave Reardon
and Brandon Lee

The NCAA Board of Directors voted yesterday to postpone legislation that could doom basketball tournaments, including five hosted by Hawaii universities.

"That was a good decision. It's terrific," Chaminade athletic director and head basketball coach Aaron Griess said. "I don't think there's a coach in the country that wanted that legislation passed."

Several Top 25 teams play in the Hawaii tournaments each holiday season, including the Maui Invitational hosted by Chaminade and the Rainbow Classic hosted by the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

On April 10 the NCAA's Management Council forwarded a proposal to the board that would require schools to count all games toward a 29-game limit. Currently teams that play in "certified" events such as the ones hosted by the Hawaii schools are allowed to count their three tournament games as just one.

Without the 3-for-1 tradeoff, many top-level teams would sacrifice substantial income by giving up two home games to play in Hawaii.

The council's proposal was to enact the new rule in the 2002-2003 season. The board has ordered the council to look closer at the issue and return a detailed report in time for the 2004-2005 season.

"The current arrangements established and approved will continue up through 2004," said Brit Kirwan, board chair and president of Ohio State University.

The board also established a moratorium on new certified events and increasing the number of teams and games in established certified events.

"The moratorium will give us time to study the broad ramifications of certified events, including whether they will address the issues of competitive equity and student-athlete welfare," Kirwan said.

Specifically, the board requested feedback from three committees regarding missed class time, competitive equity, costs, and the impact the events have on evaluations of teams for selection to the NCAA Tournament.

The council's passing of the proposal ignited a firestorm of negative response from coaches, athletic directors and media nationwide.

Kirwan said outside influences, including potential lawsuits, did not come into play in the board's decision to kick the proposal back to the council.

"As with other proposals that come to the board, board members have issues and questions that come to them they feel haven't been addressed," Kirwan said.

Kirwan also said the board entered no discussion about a proposed amendment giving the University of Hawaii-Manoa an exception for hosting certified events. Exemptions started with the Rainbows to help the only Division I program not in the continental United States schedule games.

If UH should lose its exemption status, the Rainbow Classic would probably become watered down, at best.

"(The postponement) is good news, at least in the short term," UH associate athletic director Jim Donovan said. "It allows us to continue with the granddaddy of eight-team holiday tournaments. It's an institution that's been around nearly 40 years."

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin