By Jackie Abellada

Daily Bruin Contributor

It almost seems grossly redundant: The Sept. 11 tragedies will
forever change the way people view the world. After already
postponing many athletic events, the NCAA has again acknowledged
the aftermath on the world of collegiate sports.

On Sept. 26, the NCAA issued a blanket waiver extending the
contact periods for the NCAA Division I men’s and
women’s basketball programs.

Both men’s and women’s basketball received four
extra days to finish up their recruitment of future players. The
extended women’s contact period ended on Oct. 3rd and the
men’s will conclude today.

According to NCAA spokesman Wallace Renfro, the decision was
made due to the planes being grounded.

“It wasn’t so much complaints but rather concerns
from the teams that prompted the NCAA to act,” Renfro
said.

The waiver was designed to counteract the time that teams may
have lost in their usual recruiting schedules due to the recent
tragedies.

“We couldn’t get flights to places we wanted to
go,” said Bobby Braswell, the men’s basketball head
coach at Cal State Northridge.

“One of my assistant coaches actually ended up driving to
Sacramento and San Francisco, and that’s quite a long drive
““ it actually took him two to three days to do a trip that
would have normally taken us a day and a half.”

After the terrorist acts, the Federal Aviation Administration
grounded all commercial traffic, closing the U.S. air space for the
first time in history. It was not until Thursday, Sept. 13, that
the FAA allowed domestic flights to resume on a limited basis. Even
then, weary passengers boarded the planes with much reluctance and
hesitation.

“I think it was a good move on the NCAA’s part to
give coaches more time to get out and do some recruiting,”
Braswell said. “We did have to cancel some trips, and we
looked at exactly how much we were going to travel and, to be
honest with you, if we were going to travel at all. If we felt safe
enough to travel.”

The NCAA has also made other modifications, such as lengthening
the season in various sports and adjusting team schedules, to
accommodate the programs during this difficult time.