On the eve of a special NCAA convention at which Temple University's Peter Liacouris says he and his fellow presidents "will cleanse" themselves "of guilt by showing up and passing legislation" on issues of institutional integrity, NCAA leaders today detailed plans to combat drugs and gambling in college sports.
Arliss Roaden, president of Tennessee Tech and NCAA vice president for Division I, said the NCAA will determine if there are ways to strengthen federal controls on anabolic steroids, which some football, track and wrestling athletes are said to use to increase bulk.
John Toner, athletic director at the University of Connecticut and chairman of the NCAA's drug-testing committee, said his group would recommend a $600,000 drug-testing program for selected NCAA championships and all football bowl games, to be implemented during the 1986-87 academic year.
Athletes testing positively either for performance-enhancing chemicals or street drugs would be ineligible for 90 days and for that championship or bowl game. Second offenders would be suspended 90 days and be ineligible the next academic year.
The drug testing -- and a concurrent drug education program -- were part of a 12-point plan outlined by Roaden. It includes seeking stronger legislation to prohibit wagering on intercollegiate and interscholastic sports events. Roaden said the NCAA Council had developed these initiatives since April, shortly after an alleged point-shaving scandal at Tulane here which allegedly involved cocaine.
Point-shaving and drug usage "are matters of even greater significance," according to Roaden, than the issues of institutional integrity that are likely to gain at least an 85-90 percent majority in Friday's eight roll call votes.
"I don't know how widespread the skepticism or cynicism might be," he said. "But I think only one or two or three examples are enough to capture the conscience of institutional chief executive officers and everyone who has anything to do with intercollegiate athletics, and also with the public.
"If you can't believe in the outcomes of games that have been played fairly and honestly, then what can you believe in?"
He said NCAA officers have met with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and that the FBI has said that illegal gambling on college sports events is "pervasive and extensive."
Roaden said NCAA officers are resolute "to do everything we can to keep these events (game-fixing and related drug use) from happening." He also said the NCAA will seek to have federal laws on sports bribery broadened to include all college sports, even those not defined under terms of interstate commerce.
In addition, each conference that assigns officials to bowl games or the NCAA basketball tournament would be required to hold clinics for those officials, with appearances by FBI and DEA agents, and those officials would have to sign an annual statement "identifying any connection with gambling and drugs."
Anabolic steroids long have been an issue, especially in football and track and field. Although steroids are prescription drugs, they are not covered by the Controlled Substances Act. Roaden said that the NCAA will request the Food and Drug Administration to pursue the likelihood that restraints be added to marketing steroids, specifically to athletes.
Testing for steroids is the main expense in the NCAA's proposed drug-testing procedures. Without testing for steroids, an individual test would cost about $50 instead of $200, according to Toner.
"We're adamant in our conviction that we shouldn't allow performance-enhancing chemicals to be used in bowl games and postseason championships," he said.
Because of a lack of facilities, he said it would be impossible to test all 64 basketball teams before the national championship tournament. But he said testing would be done for winners of early-round games "to guarantee a clean championship."
Meanwhile, members of the 18-month-old NCAA Presidents Commission seemed certain of a high approval rate and no watering down of their proposals, the most controversial of which would define and set uniform penalties for secondary, major and repeat violations.
The NCAA Council said the repeat offender provisions would be in effect for any penalty imposed within five years from the date of the first penalty.
Thus, for example, a school that went on probation Dec. 1, 1982 would be a repeat violator if it received a major penalty in any other sport by Dec. 1, 1987. The Pacific-10 Conference has introduced an amendment that would not grandfather the penalty, but tonight the NCAA Council and The Pac 10 agreed to a compromise that any violations before Sept. 1 would not be considered under the provision for repeat vioilations. Then the Pac 10 said it would withdraw the amendment.
When these proposals were announced two months ago, Gene Corrigan, athletic director at Notre Dame and an NCAA Council member, predicted the plan might be watered down. Today, he said, "It doesn't look like it's going to, does it? . . . You don't want to vote against apple pie and motherhood."