HOUSTON (CN) – NCAA officials secretly revised the organization’s constitution, extending the probationary period from three to seven years for schools returning to Division I play, without required notice or two-thirds majority vote of members, Houston Baptist University claims in Harris County Court. Schools on probation cannot compete in post-season play or share revenue. “A seven-year provisional period is equivalent to disbanding the athletic program and starting all over from ground zero,” the complaint states.
If not restrained, the change will devastate the recruiting efforts of Houston Baptist’s fledgling athletic program that school officials say is integral to their vision of becoming known as “one of metropolitan America’s premier academic Christian institutions.”
Under the seven-year “freeze out” recruits would have no hope of competing in post-season tournaments and be deterred from attending HBU, Thomas said.
The university, which was an NCAA member from 1973 to 1989 before a new school administration moved it to a lower division, seeks an injunction stopping the NCAA from enforcing the new rule.
Houston Baptist is represented by Tom Thomas of Dallas.