No more, decreed University of Maryland Chancellor John B. Slaughter. He announced this week a dramatic reduction in Maryland's basketball schedule for the coming season. The team will drop three games and reschedule four others so none will be played in the school's first semester. Also, practice won't begin until Nov. 1, two weeks later than most schools, and practice hours per week will be reduced 25 percent. The point is to give Maryland basketball players time to study, especially as first-semester exams approach. Mr. Slaughter also announced beefed-up academic support programs to help the athletes be better students.
Bravo! Every college should follow Maryland's example. The NCAA should mandate it. College basketball schedules have stretched to near full-time preoccupations from mid-October until April. That's needlessly, shamefully long. Student-athletes deserve an education, and schools that fail to see that they get one exploit their young athletes cruelly. The reassertion by colleges of their proper priorities is long overdue. Maryland's tragedy spotlighted the scandal pervading college sports, and Maryland now deserves credit for leading the way to reform.