Dick Schultz, the NCAA's executive director, said the decision to carry the appeal in the Jerry Tarkanian case to the Supreme Court was based on the organization's concern at being able to apply penalties evenly to all members and not as a vendetta against Tarkanian, the UNLV coach who the NCAA tried to suspend for recruiting violations in 1976.

"If you have a situation where one state will not allow you to impose a penalty and another state does, you can have a situation where one school could do exactly the same thing and receive a maximum penalty because the state would not interfere and another institution could do the same thing, the penalties could be imposed and the state court would say, 'No, you can't do that,' " Schultz said. "Then you would have an unevenness."

Schultz said the decision to go forward with the appeal was made before he was named to succeed Walter Byers as executive director last year.

In another matter, Schultz said that, for the first time since 1971, players in next month's NCAA basketball tournament will have to sign notarized affidavits stating they have not signed with an agent and will not do so during the tournament.

Schultz said the affidavits will enable the NCAA to take legal action against a player rather than only punishing his school.