DALLAS, JUNE 28 -- The NCAA already had the Women's Sports Foundation against some of the cost-containing proposals to be voted on at a special convention beginning here Monday. Now, the U.S. Olympic Committee is joining in.

The USOC is concerned about a major proposal by the NCAA Presidents Commission meant to establish a better balance between athletics and academic. That proposal would, for the first time in such Olympic sports as swimming, gymnastics and wrestling, limit all college athletes to 26 weeks of supervised coaching.

"While the USOC would not suggest {to tell the NCAA} how to conduct its affairs, we do have a deep concern over how this will affect our athletes in international competition," USOC President Robert Helmick said in a statement.

Today, NCAA President Wilford Bailey reemphasized the organization's commitment to ensure that its athletes are legitimate students as well.

"Certainly, it's not our purpose . . . to interfere with the ability of individual student-athletes to {prepare for the Olympics}," Bailey said at a press briefing. "At the same time, I have to say that preparing student-athletes for the Olympics and any other type of international competition is not the primary mission of intercollegiate athletics as governed by the NCAA.

"We have to be more concerned about the balance of athletics and academics . . . We don't want to unnecessarily put obstacles or roadblocks there. But there sometimes can be countervailing forces at work, and {we} must address the primary mission of member institutions."

Bailey also said the proposed rules change "may not be as much of a problem as the USOC or people concerned with the Olympics may perceive." An NCAA Council meeting later in the day was expected to clarify the matter.

It also became obvious today that NCAA leadership will dig in against attempts by women's groups to modify across-the-board cutbacks in scholarships they consider disproportionate and possibly in violation of Title IX guidelines governing federal aid for education.

The Special Convention Issue of the NCAA News contains a prominently displayed article by two lawyers from a Washington firm that represents the organization. The report concludes that proposed cuts "pose no legal problem."

The women's group claims women's scholarships will be cut by more than 11 percent, whereas men's scholarships are being cut by less than 4 percent, and that there is at least a 4 percent difference in all Division I-A conferences.

According to NCAA figures, men currently have 64.5 percent of all athletic scholarships and women 35.5 percent. The NCAA says the maximum cuts will include 15 men's scholarships and 14 women's scholarships, leaving men with 65.5 percent of all scholarships and women 34.5 percent.

"The combined result of the proposed reductions would be an overall allocation . . . that is essentially the same as the current allocation," NCAA attorneys wrote. "Women's sports would continue to be allotted combined limits that exceed women's participation levels on a national basis."

However, Donna Lopiano, women's athletic director at the University of Texas, said the issue is not whether the NCAA complies with Title IX, but how the rule affects individual schools. She said women at Texas receive 33 percent of all athletic scholarships, but that will be reduced to 29 percent if the proposal passes.

She called the proposal "the first bad piece of legislation" the Presidents Commission has initiated in its three-year existence.

Monday will be devoted to a Presidents Commission meeting in the morning and the beginning of an 18-month series of national forums to determine the proper role of athletics in higher education.

There is wide disagreement within Division I about that role. Ira M. Heyman, University of California chancellor and the leadoff speaker, will focus on de-emphasis. Frank Horton, president of Oklahoma University, is likely to offer justifications as to why college sports should continue at current levels of competition and importance, with controls over recent abuses in academics, recruiting and drugs. Horton has declined to discuss his 30-minute talk in advance.

Two other college presidents, from Division II and Division III, will speak for 15 minutes, followed by six respondents, including college administrators, athletic administrators and University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler.

The forums, combined with a number of studies on crucial issues, are designed to produce significant reform proposals for the January 1989 annual convention. Those reforms could include freshman ineligibility, shorter basketball schedules and scholarships based partially on need.

The most difficult part of the forums, Bailey said today, will be determining "the consensus on what is the proper role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education."

On Tuesday, 43 proposals, including 10 resolutions ordering the forums and studies, will be voted on by the membership.

The scholarship reductions and cutbacks in sports seasons mark the first time the Presidents Commission has become involved in detail. That means the votes won't be nearly unanimous as in the last special convention (1985), when the so-called death penalty was implemented.

In fact, Bailey isn't sure the presidents will prevail on all 16 proposals they initiated. Asked what he would consider a successful convention, Bailey said, "To have reasoned debate, without acrimony, and I think that will be accomplished. For the membership, by its actions, to feel that it has made a beginning, even if in a small way, of coming to grips with the problem of cost containment."