Division I basketball and football players from universities closed by Hurricane Katrina will still have to sit out for a year if they transfer to one of the many colleges that have offered admission, NCAA President Myles Brand said yesterday.

The NCAA said last month that it would bend some rules to help students and colleges deal with the hurricane, including letting students compete without attending classes.

But during an appearance at the University of Rhode Island, Brand said the only rule the NCAA would not bend was the one that requires Division I basketball, football and hockey players to sit out one year if they transfer to another Division I team. In other sports, Division I athletes can transfer and play immediately at another Division I program if they receive a release from the original university.

Brand said the decision was made because the members of some teams, including at least one from Tulane, planned to transfer together to one college. That could lead to the new school taking the entire team as its own, Brand said.

"Let me call that athletic looting, to be provocative, and we won't stand for that," he said.

Other schools affected by the hurricane include LSU and New Orleans.

-- From News Services