The NCAA is considering proposals to eliminate preseason football games and to expand the Division I baseball tournament field from 48 schools to 64, the organization said Friday.
Those were among several recommendations by the Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet, which met Wednesday and Thursday in Seattle.The cabinet also proposed increasing the tournament fields for women's soccer and softball tournament from 32 to 48 teams, women's volleyball from 56 to 64 teams, and individual competitors in men's and women's cross country championships from 184 to 255.
The tournament field changes would take effect for the 1998-99 season, if approved by the Division I Management Council or by a vote of the membership.
The cabinet also proposed eliminating preseason football games after the 2002 season.
"The fact is these games are proliferating, and the revenue from them is not being used for the original purpose intended," said Chris Hill, cabinet chairman and athletic director at the University of Utah.
The original purpose of preseason games was to support nonprofit organizations that were linked with college football, the NCAA said.
In other action announced Friday:
- The cabinet also supported legislation approved by the Division I Board of Directors that would eliminate schedule adjustments for universities that have a policy against competing on Sundays.
That legislation has received enough "override" petitions from member schools to require a vote at the 1999 annual convention if the board does not change its position, the NCAA said.
- The NCAA approved the recommended sites for men's Division I Final Fours from 2003 to 2007. Those sites are: New Orleans in 2003; San Antonio in 2004; St. Louis in 2005; Indianapolis in 2006; Atlanta in 2007.
- The cabinet voted to develop rules to permit all Division I schools to schedule a 12th regular-season football game in years with 14 Saturdays from the season opening date through November. Scheduling for such games could not begin until the 2002 season.
- It also voted to support a 28th regular-season game for men's and women's Division I basketball teams.