Increasing concern about cheating will motivate the NCAA basketball committee to recommend this summer that the percentage of television money given its tournament's final four teams be decreased beginning next season, Wayne Duke, the committee chairman, said today,
"There are a number of people, Bobby Knight (coach of Indiana) being just one of them, who are concerned that as the TV money grows so does the incentive to reach the final four and that creates problems," Duke said. "We haven't formally talked about this as a committee, but I'm sure we will recommend to the NCAA executive committee that a formula be devised so that making the final four will not be as important financially as it is now."
The committee's concern, and that of many coaches, centers on the new television contract with CBS, worth $48 million over the next three years. Under the present two-year contract with NBC, the NCAA will receive $9.95 million this season. Out of that money, the final four teams will receive $360,000 each. Just five years ago, those four teams received only $144,000 each.
Knight said he is concerned about the new TV contract. "We've got enough cheating going on as it is," he said. "We're all getting far too much money for making the final four, even just for being in the tournament."
The NCAA now gives 70 percent of all TV money over $5 million to the 48 schools in its tournament. This year first- and second-round losers received $90,000. Teams that lose in the regionals receive $224,000.
Duke also said there is "increasing sentiment" on his committee to increase the tournament field to 64 teams next year. The National Association of Basketball Coaches has been pushing for that for two years.