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In reply, Committee Chairman Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) said the report had been generally accepted by the racing industry, even though "a very regrettable minority" had been critical. Admitting that the committee had not done all that it had planned to do, he said, "We got involved in hearings on drugs in schools, and we just didn't have time. People in general can have confidence in the integrity of racing."
Reports continue that a concern called Hi-Rise Campsites, Inc., is trying to raise $4 million to construct a 20-story building in downtown New Orleans for indoor camping. The first eight stories of the building will be for parking; the upper 12 will contain 240 campsites, complete with artificial turf and utility hookups for recreational vehicles. There will be a rooftop pool to give that sylvan lake atmosphere.
"This will be unique," said a Hi-Rise man. "People don't want the woodsy bit now; they want to camp in comfort near the city."
The NCAA's decision to split itself into three more or less autonomous divisions is a laudable attempt to bring sense into what has been a ridiculous situation. There are more than 600 colleges in the NCAA, and the 400 or so smaller ones often clashed head on with the major institutions over such matters as entrance requirements, athletic scholarships and recruiting.
Now there will be Division I for big athletic powers, such as Southern California, Nebraska and Alabama; Division II for the next level, North Dakota State and Grambling, for instance; and Division III for Muskingum and that crowd. Each division is free to amend NCAA bylaws as it sees fit, setting rules to suit its own needs, although the three bodies voting together can exercise a kind of veto power over legislative proposals made in the separate divisions.
Requirements for membership in each division can become complex, but all major football schools will be in Division I in all sports. A top basketball school may elect Division I for basketball (and other sports) but be in Division II in football. A school in Division II or III may choose to be in Division I in one sport (except football and basketball); an example: Trinity College in Texas, the 1972 NCAA tennis champion.
A lot of bugs will probably develop, but the new setup is eminently worth trying, if only to get rid of the big vs. small infighting. It is certainly better than the hypocrisy of the "conscience vote," in which delegates were asked not to vote on measures that did not directly affect their schools. The first real test of how the new idea is going to work will come at the annual convention next January.
WHAT'S IN A NAME