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NCAA chief Brand placing focus on college sports finances

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

CLEVELAND – The NCAA is forming a task force of university presidents to help athletic departments cope with soaring costs.

NCAA president Myles Brand announced the initiative during a weekend speech before the City Club of Cleveland.

The price of college sports was a key element of Brand’s speech Jan. 9 at the NCAA convention. He has said that price is increasing at twice the rate of average university expenses, and winning teams do not significantly increase donations or revenue.

“The competition for student recruits, especially in the two revenue sports, has led to excesses of the kind that have played out on the headlines,” Brand said Friday. “The competition for good coaches has resulted in a market that yields compensation packages for a selected few that puts them in the rarified air of celebrities and professional sports coaches, and at odds with faculty and others on campus.”

Wally Renfro, a spokesman for Brand, said the task force would work to find solutions for universities whose athletic departments aren’t self-sustaining.

Peter Likins, president of the University of Arizona, will be chairman of the group, which is expected to complete its work in 1 1/2 to two years, the NCAA said. Likins also is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a privately funded group composed mostly of college presidents.

The task force does not intend to form a policy or in any way limit compensation to coaches. Brand and Likins said doing so would violate antitrust law.

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