Decision delayed on revealing votes

Several coaches defended the current policy of keeping ballots secret.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- College football coaches delayed a vote Wednesday on whether to release the ballots for their weekly poll, though some made it clear they strongly oppose the idea.
"I don't see how that could be anything but a negative," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said.
Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said, "I've got no hidden agenda, but you've got nothing good in it."
Just more than half of the nation's Division I-A coaches -- 59 of 117 -- attended the final day of the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in Louisville.
AFCA executive director Grant Teaff led a forum on the ESPN/USA Today poll, which came under fire after Texas overtook California for the last at-large bid in the Bowl Championship Series.
Survey says ...
Six coaches dropped Cal below No. 6 in the final poll, prompting Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen and Cal coach Jeff Tedford to ask the 61 coaches who voted to disclose their ballots. The AFCA voted down the request.
On Wednesday, Teaff handed out a three-question survey to the coaches in attendance. The survey asked if the coaches would:
*release their ballots every week;
*release their ballots at the end of the season only;
*and, continue to vote if their ballots were ever publicly released.
Teaff said the rest of the coaches would receive surveys by mail. An official vote would not take place until all the surveys had been received, Teaff said.
"We're trying to make a decision based on what we think is best for our game and our teams and our players," Teaff said.
The AFCA twice rejected proposals in the past year to publicly disclose the coaches' ballots. Teaff said the more likely change this time was for the coaches to release their ballots at the end of the season.
"I don't think they're interested with dealing with it on a weekly basis," Teaff said. "I don't know why they would be."
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said publicly disclosing ballots would put coaches in awkward situations.
"If we release the polls, we're bound to our players," Tuberville said. "They're going to see how we voted, other coaches are going to see. There are a lot of things you don't think about."
Teaff said a suggestion to delay the coaches poll until October was dismissed. BCS officials have suggested they'd prefer to see preseason polls eliminated.
Scholarships tied to graduation
Earlier Wednesday, NCAA president Myles Brand participated in what Teaff termed a "sobering" discussion about the academic reforms approved at the NCAA convention earlier this week.
About 30 percent of the Division I programs will receive one-time warnings from the NCAA, stating that if their graduation rates don't rise, they'll lose scholarships.
Also, the coaches agreed to lobby for a fifth year of eligibility for players. Brand said the issue was not discussed at the convention, and will not come up for a vote when the NCAA Division I Management Council meets in April.
However, Brand said the council will vote in April on a proposal to allow teams to play a 12th game every season, beginning in 2006.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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