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Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky was recently named to a blue ribbon committee of NCAA coaches and athletic officials that will examine issues facing big-time college basketball. The 32-member committee will begin meeting this October to review a number of major concerns affecting Division I basketball. Recruiting and the growing number of athletes who turn pro before completing a degree will undoubtedly be hot topics of discussion. The panel will be divided into two 16-person bodies that will discuss concerns specific to the men's and women's games. The unified committee will present a report to the NCAA in January. The NCAA Board of Directors will then review the proposed recommendations and implement changes in October 2001. The committee will be chaired by Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth "Buzz" Shaw. "College basketball is fraught with big-time problems," Bilsky said, noting how big money has changed the game since he was a standout guard for Penn in the early 1970s. He said that he felt honored as the only Ivy League representative on either panel. Bilsky will serve on the 16-member committee to discuss men's basketball. The elite group is comprised of representatives from 15 of the 31 Division I conferences and includes high-profile coaches such as Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky's Tubby Smith. A student-athlete will also be named to the review committee -- joining two university presidents, three conference commissioners, two other athletic directors and four head coaches. The committee examining issues facing women's basketball has a similar makeup, with one student, one university president, four conference commissioners, four athletic directors and five head coaches, including Tennessee's Pat Summitt. Reflecting the NCAA's commitment to diversity, there are a total of 17 men and 15 women on the committee -- along with 10 minority members, excluding the student athletes who have not yet been named. "An overriding concern for us was putting together a committee that fairly represented the basketball constituency of Division I," NCAA Board of Directors Chairman and Penn State University president Graham Spanier said in a press release. The NCAA authorized the committee in April as part of a package of measures to address growing concerns about the direction of Division I basketball. For the first two years, the committee will report to the Board of Directors and has been specifically charged with developing an alternative to the current summer recruiting system in men's basketball.

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