Division III Management Council preparing for Convention
The Division III Management Council will review plans during its January 11 meeting in Nashville for discussions during the NCAA Convention of possible models for restructuring the Association.
The review will include a report from the Division III Working Group on Membership Issues, which recently suggested models for creating a new NCAA division or subdividing Division III. Those models will be the focus of an Association-wide forum on membership issues January 12 during the NCAA Convention in Nashville, as well as the primary topic during a Division III issues forum January 13 and the focus of further membership discussion during the January 14 Division III business session at the Convention.
The Council also will prepare for membership voting January 14 on legislative proposals dealing with issues ranging from banning the use of text messaging in recruiting to restricting the use of male practice players in women's sports to permitting Division III institutions to provide academic or other support services specifically for student-athletes.
Those preparations include recommending a position to the Division III Presidents Council on a Convention proposal by two conferences to permit institutions in the third or fourth year of provisional membership to be counted by a league toward the seven-institution requirement for earning automatic qualification to a Division III championship. The North Eastern Athletic and North Atlantic Conferences earlier sponsored a proposal that is opposed by the Councils to permit any provisional member to be counted for the requirement, but now is seeking to amend that proposal to limit the opportunity to third- and fourth-year provisional members.
Council members also will hear a report from the Division III Financial Aid Committee about the possibility of imposing more stringent penalties for violations of Division III legislation discovered through the division's financial aid reporting process. Penalties assessed since the program's implementation in 2005-06 have been educational rather than punitive in nature, but the Presidents Council recently asked the committee to consider expanding the scope and purpose of penalties.
The Council also will preview information about the Division III drug-education and testing pilot program that will be presented to the membership during the January 14 business session at the Convention. Division III is in the middle of year one of a two-year pilot, which in addition to supporting drug and alcohol education for the entire division, features a voluntary testing program in which about one-fourth of the membership is participating in an evaluation of the impact of education and testing on the use of performance-enhancing and street drugs.
A report of the Management Council meeting will be published online January 12 by The NCAA News.
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