The NCAA Tuesday agreed to abolish a pre-set date on which bowl officials can select their teams.
The bowls, however, agreed among themselves that some date must be set and that they would impose their own. They tentatively agreed on the third Sunday in November as a selection date and said they would police themselves with a $250,000 fine for breaking that date.Action concerning the bowl selection date highlighted the first business session of the NCAA convention amid speculation the controversial set of proposals being brought to the floor by the Presidents Commission might not be rubber stamped by the delegates.
Intense lobbying Monday appeared to have an affect on some of the presidents who came to the convention and one source said a few of the presidents would speak out against some of the proposals on the convention floor.
Action on some of the proposals was expected Tuesday afternoon with the rest of the voting scheduled for Wednesday.
Among other things, the presidents have said they want a 10 percent reduction in scholarships for all collegiate sports, a reduction in the size of coaching staffs, cutbacks in the amount of time an athlete spends on the practice field and a phase out of athletic dormitories.
"I think a few of the presidents have decided some of this package was not well thought out," one source said. "It may still go through, but there is going to be some opposition within the ranks (of the presidents)."
Abolishing the bowl selection date was a foregone conclusion prior to the convention because football coaches and athletic directors were agreed that such a date is uninforceable.
For years the teams in most of the bowl games have been decided upon at least a week prior to the actual selection date.
But even though the NCAA did away with the date Tuesday, executives of the various bowl games decided late Monday they would have to police themselves.
"We have to clean up our own act," said Cotton Bowl executive director Jim Brock. "If we don't we are going to have people telling us how to drive our own bus."
Details of the bowl association's plan will be worked out at a meeting next April, but Orange Bowl executive director Steve Hatchell said the selection date had been agreed upon.
"There will be no formal or informal invitations issued before the third Sunday in November," he said. "Anyone who breaks that date will be fined $250,000."
How the date will be policed and where the fine money would go will be determined at the April meeting.
The action by the bowl group was taken not only in an attempt to bring some order out of the chaotic selection process, but in hopes of halting any move toward a playoff system - something no bowl official wants.
Despite the outcry this year, as there is almost every year, for a playoff system in college football, there has been no indication among school presidents that they want a playoff.
"I have never heard a president say he was for a playoff," Brock said, "and as long as they don't want one, there isn't going to be one. But we still have to keep our own house in order. We can't bury our heads in the sand."
In the only other action taken early Tuesday, the NCAA agreed to permit a Division 1-A head football coach to conduct one visit with a prospective recruit at the athlete's school and one visit at his home on different calendar days.
Until now, the visit to the school and the home had to be on the same day.