Delegates at the NCAA convention here ended their 73rd session today amid pledges to oppose and seek changes in sections of Title 9 dealing with the financing of intercollegiate sports.
Only about a dozen of the 538 colleges respresented here opposed an NCAA Council resolution dealing with Title 9, the federal law barring sex discrimination in school sports programs.
Almost to the exclusion of other issues, delegates were preoccupied during the four days of formal and informal sessions with proposed polices affecting sports financing that were issued by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare last month.
Calling those HEW proposals "the most vital topic at this convention," NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers said the NCAA members "will try to persuade -- no matter how bleak that possibility may be -- to get the (HEW) people responsible for policy interpretations to change their position."
HEW has set Feb. 10 as the deadline for comment on the proposals and NCAA members were urged to file detailed responses on how the proposals will affect their colleges and to write members of Congress.
Byers, however, said there would be no NCAA effort to initiate new congressional hearings on Title 9 to exclude revenue-producing sports or intercollegiate sports altogether from the law. Past attempts for such legislation were rejected in both the House and Senate.
Byers said the NCAA would continue its efforts to challenge Title 9 in the courts. A federal court last year ruled that the NCAA lacks standing to sue HEW and that decision is being appealed.
The HEW proposals would require colleges to equalize their average percapita spending on scholarships, recruiting and other financially measurable items based on the participation rates of male and female athletes.
The proposals do not require dollar-for-dollar spending, permitting financial disparities if they result from sexneutral factors or because of the unique costs of sports such as football and basketball. The college would be required to justify those "unique" costs.
While representatives from HEW's Office for Civil Rights observed at a Title 9 round table, the delegates compained that the proposals were too vague and represented unnecessary -- and, some said, illegal -- federal intervention.
The resolution adopted by the convention called for the NCAA to:
Seek a policy interpretation that will give the colleges more freedom to decide how money will be spent on sports in line with the levels of interest and income of each sport.
Tell HEW that the proposals represent arbitrary, unrealistic and unworkable compliance standards in light of historic rivalries and public support.
Oppose any HEW attempt to monitor or dictate in detail the colleges' financing of sports.
Oppose HEW attempts to dictate uniform federal program goals and standards for the NCAA.
Oppose "open-ended provisions in the policy which potentially create excessive and unreasonable financial obligations unrelated to the achievement" of equal opportunity.
In other actions:
Major football schools (Division I-A) rejected a move to increase the number of assistant coaches from eight to nine and to allow two additional part-time coaches.
The convention adopted a rule that specifies an athlete is not eligible for a "hardship" ruling, an extra year of eligibility, when he has participated in 20 percent of his team's games in a season.
The convention rescinded the freshman redshirt rule adopted last year and allowed freshmen athletes to be redshirted.