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Actions taken by the NCAA's Board of Directors

Proposals the NCAA's Board of Directors approved at its quarterly meeting Thursday in Indianapolis.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The NCAA is now allowing colleges to pay its student athletes. Coaches say although existing scholarships pay for tuition, room board, and meal plans, small expenses are producing stress for athletes.

So the Association is allowing schools to pay athletes an extra $2,000 a year to offset miscellaneous expenses.

Former Razorback football player Anthony Lucas had a full ride to Arkansas and knows what it means to be a struggling student athlete.

"I can remember having to call my mom at least once or twice for twenty dollars for this and twenty dollars for that," said Lucas.

UALR assistant athletic director Richard Turner says the change will benefit the 28 athletes on basketball scholarships playing for the Trojans.

"It seems restrictive. It seems like it is going to cost more, but really it's the right thing to do when you consider that perspective from a student athletes point of view," said Turner, who also says today's announcement would eventually cost the school about $56,000.

"For us to be competitive, I don't think we can afford not to do it. I think that commitment will be made."

NCAA's Board of Directors also approved at its quarterly meeting Thursday in Indianapolis:


- Gave individual schools the choice of awarding scholarships on a multiyear basis instead of annually. Scholarships could not be revoked based on athletic performance. Multiyear scholarships would cover athletes for the maximum amount of time they have remaining eligibility (incoming freshmen would have four or five years, transfers would have shorter lengths).

- Tied academic performance to postseason play. Beginning in 2012-13, teams must hit 900 on the Academic Progress Rate over four years or have an average of 930 over the two most recent years to be eligible for postseason play. In 2014-15, teams must have a four-year score of 930 or a 940 average in the two most recent years.

In 2015-16, everybody has to hit 930, no exceptions. There will be waivers and appeals, though they will be kept to a minimum.
The board also agreed to include the APR cutline in bowl licensing agreements, making it enforceable in football, too. Schools that miss the APR cutline could face reductions in practice time, game reductions, coaching suspensions, scholarship reductions and restricted NCAA membership.

- Imposed tougher academic standards for incoming freshmen and junior college transfers. Beginning in August 2012, high school seniors will need a 2.3 GPA in 16 core courses, instead of the current 2.0 GPA, and must complete 10 of those classes before their senior year.

Junior college transfers would need a 2.5 GPA and can only count two physical education credits toward eligibility.
Students that meet the current standards but not the new ones will be given an "academic redshirt" year in which they will be on scholarship and can practice with the team but cannot travel or participate in games.

- Instituted a new summer basketball recruiting model. Instead of having 20 evaluation days in July and none in April, coaches will have four evaluation days in April and 12 in July. In addition, coaches will be allowed more contact with their players during the summer, with details to be worked out. The change also means coaches can make unlimited calls or send unlimited text messages to prep recruits after June 15 at the end of their sophomore year.

- Endorsed a working group's model to edit the NCAA's massiverulebook and focus on broad integrity questions rather than rules such as the size of permissible envelopes to mail information to recruits. A formal proposal is expected in April.

- Received an update from another working group that is working on the penalty structure for infractions. The group intends to propose four categories of infractions, instead of the current two, and to establish guidelines for sanctions based on each set of violations. The group is expected to make recommendations in January, with a final vote possibly coming next October.

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