Tuesday January 11, 2005
By Wayne Nelson
Grand Forks, ND Herald Staff Writer
The NCAA on Monday rejected a proposal to reduce the allowable number of Division II football scholarships from 36 to 24. The vote failed by a 97-46 margin.
The proposal, had it passed, could have forced UND to take a closer look at moving its athletic programs to the Division I level.
UND, which offers the full complement of 36 scholarships, opposed the proposal, which was sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Sioux athletic director Roger Thomas said the proposal's defeat doesn't mean there won't be future talk about restructuring NCAA football.
"There are a few ideas floating around out there," Thomas said from Dallas. "Is there some other way we can do this to resolve these problems?"
Those who supported the proposal claimed that 24 scholarships are more in line with what most Division II schools currently offer. Approximately 50 percent of Division II schools offer fewer than 24 scholarships.
The proposal, however, came to the 2005 NCAA Convention without the support of the Division II Management and Presidents councils. Opponents claimed the reduction was too severe.
For now, at least, it will be business as usual for UND football.
Sioux coach Dale Lennon said the proposal did not affect UND recruiting.
"It had our attention," Lennon said of the proposal. "But it's always been business as usual. You can't let it hinder anything you do.
"None of the recruits thought it was that big of an issue. Everyone was under the assumption that it wasn't going to pass."
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