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Party is over for raunchy recruits

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INDIANAPOLIS — An NCAA task force on recruiting will recommend colleges be required to develop written policies on alcohol and unsupervised entertainment, along with clear standards for determining who should be held accountable for compliance.

Recommendations by the 18-member task force, formed in February by NCAA President Myles Brand in the wake of several highly publicized recruiting scandals, will be presented to the Division I Management Council on April 20 and reviewed by the Division I Board of Directors on April 29.

Final recommendations will be considered in July and sent to the Board of Directors in time to enact new rules before the 2004-05 recruiting season, the NCAA said Tuesday.

The action was prompted in part by allegations made by two women who contend that Colorado players or recruits raped them at a 2001 party; a third said she was assaulted in a dorm room shortly afterward. They are suing in federal court, seeking unspecified damages.

Since 1997, at least eight women have accused Colorado football players of rape, although no charges have been filed in those cases.

"While it was noted that alleged illegal conduct is a matter that should be left to law enforcement officials ... the NCAA also has a role to ensure that proper national rules and guidelines are in place to govern athletics recruiting practices, to assess accountability for failures and to act as a resource to assist in developing an institutional compliance program," the NCAA statement said.

Typically, NCAA rules changes can take months or years. Brand, however, has asked that the recruiting proposals be treated as "emergency legislation."

The task force recommendations also include a requirement that hosts for athletes either be members of the teams for which the prospects are being recruited or others chosen the same way the college provides hosts to prospective students in general.

The group also urged requiring recruits and hosts to sign a form agreeing not to engage in inappropriate conduct as defined by the college.

Among other recommendations that will be given to the Management Council:

— Require colleges that provide air transportation to recruits to use commercial flights at coach fare with no upgrades.

— Prohibit schools from using special vehicles, such as cars modified with televisions or other features, for recruits.

— Require recruits and their parents be housed in standard lodging that does not include special accessories not available generally to all guests, and standard meals comparable to those provided to athletes during the academic year.

— Prohibit institutions from providing personalized jerseys and personalized audio or video presentations of recruits; the recruits would be allowed to be in the locker room before or after a game and stand on the sideline during pregame activities, but could not run onto the field with the team during pregame introductions.

Among other recommendations considered but not supported by the task force was one to reduce the number of official visits and shorten the 48-hour period for each visit.