NIT case hinders NCAA's tourney approval


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Get ready for another summer of court cases involving the NCAA and exempted basketball tournaments.

At its meeting this week in Indianapolis, the NCAA management council decided against approving legislation that would allow college teams to play in an exempt tournament every season.

An exempted tournament is a two- to four-game event such as the Maui Invitational or the Preseason NIT. The current rule allows teams to play in such tournaments twice in a four-year period (and in the same event only once in four years).

The NCAA won a protracted case against a few of the organizers of these events late last year. Nevertheless, the NCAA was ready to endorse a 27-game proposal for the regular season that would allow teams to play in an exempted tournament every season and that tournament would not count against the 27-game limit. Likewise, conference tournaments at the end of the season wouldn't count against the 27-game limit.

The NCAA's David Berst has said that this proposal (2004-40-B) has more support than another proposal (2004-40-A) that called for 28 games and got rid of exempted events.