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A proposed National Collegiate Athletic Association rule known as Proposition 48 was examined at a special forum entitled "The Black Athlete: On and Off the Playing Field" on Tuesday night, August 2nd, as part of the recently concluded 73rd Annual Conference of the National Urban League in New Orleans.

The forum featured a number of well known sports personalities and was moderated by Irv Cross if CBS Sports and a former pro player with the Philadelphia Eagles. The panelists included Dr. Harry Edward, a noted scholar who is considered a leading authority on the plight of the black athlete; Joe Paterno, head football coach at Penn State University; former NFL all-pro running back, Geyle Sayers; Marino Casem, head football coach at Alcorn State University; and Kevin Ross, a former basketball player for Creighton University who has gained nationwide attention for his courageous decision to enroll at Westside Preparatory School to secure the education he did not receive while enrolled at Creighton.

While a number of issues were raised concerning the athlete, much of the discussion centered around the controversial Proposition 48 being put forth by the NCAA, raising minimum entrance requirements for student athletes. The new rule would require a 2.0 average in 11 core high school courses. A minimum 700 score on the SAT college examination; and a minimum score of 15 on the ACT college entrance examination. Under the rule, college freshmen granted athletic scholarships would not be able to compete during their first year if the requirements are not met. It would not prohibit student athletes from enrolling however.

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