Kansas' Williams pans rule limiting assistants Final Four notes


MINNEAPOLIS -- Kansas coach Roy Williams is considered one of the rising stars in his profession, but in 1979 he was a high school coach who took a pay cut to become a part-time assistant under Dean Smith at North Carolina.

It is one of the main reasons Williams is upset with legislation passed at the NCAA's winter convention earlier this year in Anaheim, Calif., that will cut out the part-time assistant's job at the Division I level, beginning next season.

"If it weren't for the third assistant's job, I wouldn't be in college coaching," Williams said yesterday.

Under legislation that is scheduled to go into affect on Aug. 1, coaching staffs will be limited to two full-time assistants and one restricted-earnings assistant, who can't be paid more than $16,000 a year. The National Association of Basketball Coaches is trying to get the NCAA to ease that restriction and allow three full-time assistants with no salary cap.

According to NABC president and Southern Cal coach George Raveling, the organization also is trying to get the NCAA to review legislation regarding scholarship limitations and summer recruiting. The coaches will ask to have scholarship limits at 14 rather than 13, and to allow more than two coaches evaluating prospective talent off-campus during the summer.

Raveling, by the way, said yesterday that he has decided to continue coaching, rather than take a job as executive director of the NABC. What changed his mind? "I had a player tell me that he would have been real disappointed if I didn't stay for his four years," said Raveling. "I promised him I would when I was recruiting him. It wasn't the only reason, but it played a part."

* Dick Schultz, executive director of the NCAA, said that the recent incident involving Indiana coach Bob Knight tapping Hoosiers star Calbert Cheaney with a bullwhip during practice at the West Regional in Albuquerque, N.M., will be looked at by the NCAA tournament committee.

"I am confident that they will handle it in a timely and appropriate manner," Schultz said yesterday. "In response to the demonstration issue [at the Metrodome by the NAACP], I am sure people of Minneapolis are used to these situations, and I am sure it will be handled in an orderly manner.

Minneapolis has become not only the big-event capital of the sports world, but also the protest capital. There were protests by American Indians at both the World Series and Super Bowl against the Atlanta Braves and Washington Redskins.

* Drake coach Rudy Washington, president of the Black Coaches Association, said that his association will discuss with the NCAA tournament committee what they contend is inadequate disciplinary action against Duke center Christian Laettner.

Laettner was assessed a personal and a technical foul for stepping on Kentucky's Aminu Timberlake during Duke's 104-103 victory over the Wildcats at the NCAA East Regional in Philadelphia. Connecticut's Rod Sellers was suspended for the first game of this year's tournament for banging Laettner's head against the floor in a tournament game last season.

"We feel the action taken was inappropriate to what Laettner did," said Washington.

Said Schultz: "It would be misguided to make a racial issue out of this. As far as the specifics of the cases, the NCAA basketball committee are the proper ones to address that issue. I do not want to speak for that committee, but I think they would say that the first error would be to say that these were the same circumstances."

* The favorite to replace Rollie Massimino at Villanova is Xavier coach Pete Gillen. A Cincinnati radio station reported Wednesday night that Gillen had a plane ticket for Philadelphia for Tuesday. Massimino signed a four-year contract with Nevada-Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Other names that have surfaced at Villanova are John Calipari of Massachusetts and Manhattan coach Steve Lappas, a former assistant under Massimino. But Calipari had run-ins with Villanova as an assistant at Pittsburgh, and word is that the school was happy to see Daddy Mass leaving, taking his slow-down system with him. So Lappas might be guilty by association.

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