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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Three Kansas universities are asking a state panel to OK a proposal that would let them sign coaches in the NCAA Division II athletic programs to multiyear contracts.

The Kansas Board of Regents is expected to vote next month on the proposal, which would give the schools the same authority Division I colleges have, the Lawrence Journal-World ( ) reported.

Some regents are concerned the proposal would bring the "excesses" of larger college sports to smaller institutions, such as coaches earning higher salaries than university presidents and other officials.

Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott said other Division II schools in the nation offer their coaches longer contracts, and Kansas schools risk losing their coaches if they can't do the same.

Much of the push for the change is coming from Pittsburg State, whose football team is often a contender for the Division II national title. Under head coach Tim Beck, the Gorillas won the national championship in 2011 and have either won the title or been the runner-up four other times since 1991.

"We want to make sure we can keep our coaching staff intact by providing them security," Scott said. "If they stumble a year or two, they know we're with them."

The regents used to have a policy that barred schools from offering multiyear contracts to any employee. But that changed several years ago when the Kansas University Medical Center asked for an exception so it could offer long-term contracts to faculty who were hired for tenure-track positions, said Andy Tompkins, the board's president and CEO.

While updating the policy, officials learned that Division I schools had been out of compliance for years by offering longer contracts to their coaches, and an exception was made retroactively for those athletic departments, he said.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,

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