After spearheading an effort to increase university control of intercollegiate athletic policy, President Bok yesterday toned down his controversial proposal to restructure the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Bok agreed to limit the powers of a proposed board of college presidents after meeting with NCAA officials in Washington Thursday, Under the original plan, the presidents would have had almost autonomous power to institute policy and veto any association rules.
But the new proposal would allow member schools of the NCAA to veto by a two-thirds vote any legislation proposed by the new board, and to reinstate any rule the board had rejected.
NCAA officials had criticized Bok's initial proposal, saying it granted too much power to college presidents.
Bok met with the officials as chairman of the intercollegiate athletic committee of the American Council of Education (ACE) a higher education lobbying organization.
Bok, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, had said in a recent interview that he would not agree to changes in the major provisions of the proposal.
But Robert Atwell, vice president of the ACE, said last night that the concessions would not alter the intent or effectiveness of the plan. "I don't think that the essence of [the proposal] was seriously weakened, but at the same time it does meet the objections of the NCAA."
Atwell added that some members of Bok's 40 member ACE presidents athletic committee had argued that the proposed board should have more limited powers than originally suggested.
NCAA spokesman Ted Tow yesterday refused to comment on the alterations in Bok's proposal.
For the governance proposal to be implemented, it would now have to receive a two-thirds majority vote from the NCAA's 789 members at their upcoming January convention in Dallas.
In separate meetings, the Bok committee altered the proposal it plans to present at the NCAA convention to expand the board's membership from 36 to 44 and to give the NCAA Council, the association's main governing body, a larger role in choosing the first members of the board of president's.
In a brief press conference held at the ACE's Washington headquarters where the meetings took place. Bok also promised that the proposed board would restrict itself to athletic issues including academic values and institutional integrity.
In a separate action, the committee agreed to study whether a proposal SAT cutoff score of 700 was a fair standard for allowing freshmen to play varsity sports.
Representatives from predominately Black colleges have argued that the rule, which is scheduled to go into effect in 1986, is discriminatory against Blacks, who on average score 100 points below whites on the SAT.
The committee also announced plans to ask the NCAA convention to tighten the existing rule stating that a student-athlete must be making satisfactory progress towards a degree. The proposal would make college presidents directly responsible for the satisfactory progress of their athletes and call for random NCAA spot checks