The NCAA executive committee on Thursday approved a $35 million addition to the governing body's headquarters in White River State Park in Indianapolis.
The 130,000-square-foot expansion project is expected to begin early next year and be completed early in 2012.
The NCAA relocated from a Kansas City suburb to Indianapolis in 1999. The current building was set up for 350 employees and the governing body now has about 500 employees, including a 70-person eligibility staff that has been using the NCAA's off-site warehouse for office space.
The project will be funded primarily
through savings and funds currently budgeted for leased space.
The addition will integrate with the existing national office in terms of design and will significantly increase the availability of flexible space. Included in the total square footage are about 24,000 square feet of meeting and conference space in addition to 116,000 square feet for office space.
"We decided that the market was such that it was advantageous to do [the project] now," said Michael Adams, president of the University of Georgia and outgoing executive committee chairman. "We want the eligibility office to move here and have a little growth room, and the new NCAA president then will not have to deal with that issue."
In addition to the headquarters decision, new executive committee chairman Ed Ray detailed the search process to find a replacement for former NCAA president Myles Brand, who died last month of pancreatic cancer.
"Our target will be to follow the
timetable consistent with most campuses, and that is to have a new president in place by the beginning of the next academic
year," Ray said.
The Oregon State president will lead a six-member search committee that began meeting Thursday. The other committee members are Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman, Hampton University president William Harvey, Molloy College president Drew Bogner, Widener University president James Harris and Weber State president Ann Millner.
Ray said none of the six would be candidates to become president.
That added to speculation that Georgia president Adams, who abruptly stepped down as the executive committee chairman, will be on the short list to be Brand's successor.
Adams has said, however, he intends to retire at Georgia. On Thursday, he reiterated the point.
"I feel strongly that the people who will work with the next president need to be in charge of that search. I feel like I did what I came to do and what I promised Myles to do," he said. "After what's been required of me the past nine months, I think I need to remind people that I still have a day job at the University of Georgia."
Also on Thursday, the NCAA board of directors unanimously endorsed a series of new rules intended to clean up men's basketball recruiting.
The most immediate changes will be seen in men's basketball, where the board approved one series of measures to toughen existing recruiting rules and offered support for additional measures to prevent the funneling of money to those close to recruits.
Additional proposals would put an end to consulting fees paid by the schools and prohibit schools from hiring a recruit's high school or summer league coaches to help with summer camps or clinics. If rules are approved, violators could be suspended from NCAA regular-season or postseason games.
The package drew support from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the AAU and conference commissioners.
"I think it really places the enforcement of these standards as a very high priority," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said. "The commissioners also encouraged the board of directors to think about making sure the enforcement staff has enough resources to enforce it."
What else could change?
College basketball seasons could get shorter.
In January, the Legislative Council will consider a proposal that trims the number of regular-season games from 29 to 28, or 26 with an exempt tournament. The committees will continue to debate other proposals that would allow schools to pay for travel expenses of a recruit's parents or legal guardians during official visits and mandatory summer school.