Division III Rewind
The following is a summary of Division III news from the week of April 14-18.
The Division III Management Council referred a variety of issues -- all identified by the recently disbanded Division III Working Group on Membership Issues as stemming from the division’s membership growth and diversity -- to various committees for consideration during coming months. The working group identified issues that Division III will need to address in accommodating projected growth to 480 members by 2020, now that the membership has indicated through a survey that it does not support the creation of a new division or subdivision as a solution. The issues include championships access; membership standards, compliance, educational efforts to support compliance, and institutional accountability for meeting membership standards; sport-sponsorship requirements; financial aid; and future staffing and national office support for the division. The Council also suggested that a series of Town Hall Meetings beginning May 8 could help move Division III forward in addressing the issues, and urged the membership to suggest ways of addressing address growth and diversity while preserving the current divisional structure.
The Council’s spring meeting also featured consideration of possible legislation for the 2009 Convention, including proposals recommended by two subcommittees that the Council did not support. One of the proposals shelved by the Council would have permitted institutions to allow student-athletes to register for classes before other students; the other would have authorized an exception during the week of a conference championship to the currently required day off from athletics activities. The Council did support an idea to permit more individualized assistance from coaches in the design of a workout program than is currently allowed for student-athletes who work out voluntarily during the offseason, and forwarded it for consideration by the Division III Presidents Council as a 2009 Convention proposal.
The Council also endorsed a recommendation from the Division III Financial Aid Committee to move toward more punitive measures for violations of legislation discovered during financial aid reporting. The committee, which has encouraged penalties that are educational in nature during the first three years of the annual financial aid reporting process, now is recommending a wider range of disciplinary measures in response to financial aid violations, including such sanctions as a public reprimand, withholding such NCAA benefits and services as grant funding, or ineligibility for championships. The Presidents Council, which last year asked the committee to study more punitive sanctions, will consider the recommendation at its meeting next week.
In another story relating to the Management Council, the newly formed New England Collegiate Conference announced the naming of Council Chair Del Malloy as its first commissioner.
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