John Toner, the immediate past president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, said yesterday that he is all for implementing more severe penalties on repeat offenders to NCAA rules, including eliminating part or all of a team's season.
"The sooner the better," Toner said yesterday at the Watergate Hotel during a seminar on the big business of sports. "First of all, you can't get the attention of the perpetrator unless you penalize their competitive ability to perform . . .
"I'm talking about someone -- you know who they are -- people who consider getting caught only the price of doing business, and they get caught continuously. They're always under investigation. Those institutions are the ones who would get that kind of a penalty."
Toner, affirming comments made Tuesday by NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers, said sanctions could include partial loss of a season or of one or more home games. He described such planning as in "the think-tank stage."
Although the basketball seasons were canceled at Kentucky in 1952-53 and Southwestern Louisiana in 1973-74 and 1974-75 under existing rules, it would take a vote by the NCAA membership to implement new sanctions such as loss of home games or a reduction in schedule. Toner said such provisions could be passed at the NCAA's special June convention on cheating and institutional integrity, although he said it is more likely that no action would be taken until the annual convention in New Orleans in January.
In another development, Toner said that the NCAA long-range planning committee, of which he is a member, is concerned about what it considers the unethical practice of basketball teams fouling late in games to gain an advantage. He said basketball is the only sport by which a team can gain an advantage by fouling. Toner recommends implementing rules that would allow a team the option of keeping possession, instead of shooting what is normally a one-and-one bonus situation. If such a rule did not deter fouling, Toner said the next step would be to call delayed fouls -- allow play to continue until a team scores or loses possession. At that point, the foul shots would be taken, Toner said.