Increase in funding for competitors tops championships priorities
The Division III Championships Committee lists a phased-in increase in student-athlete per diem -- part of a continuing effort to improve the student-athlete experience at championships -- as a top priority for the division's next two-year budget cycle.
The committee, which met last week in San Antonio, also advocates funding to support an increase in the number of nonstudent-athletes who are included in larger travel parties in the individual/team sports of cross country, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and wrestling.
All budget recommendations are subject to review by the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee and Management Council, then ultimately must be approved by the Division III Presidents Council. The recommendations are for a two-year budget cycle that begins this fall.
The committee, which wants to increase student-athlete per diem from the current $75 to $80 to keep pace with inflation, recommended a $3 increase for 2008-09 championships followed by a $2 increase in 2009-10.
Division III has increased per diem -- which defrays the expense of housing and feeding student-athletes during championships competition -- three times in the past four years. The division provided a $60 per diem for several years before increasing the amount to $65 for the 2004-05 championships. Additional $5 increases were approved for 2005-06 and 2006-07. All of the previous increases have been covered by annual inflation-based adjustments in the Division III budget, as would the newly recommended increases.
The committee also wants to provide funding for additional coaches or staff members to accompany larger travel parties in the individual/team sports, which currently only are accompanied by one or two nonstudent-athletes, depending of the size of a squad traveling to a championship.
If approved, the new formula for determining the number of nonstudent-athletes would provide funding for one individual to accompany one to five student-athletes; two individuals to accompany six to 10 student-athletes; three individuals to accompany 11 to 15 student-athletes; and four individuals to accompany 16 or more student-athletes.
In another recommendation impacting the championships experience, the committee recommended an increase in game officials’ per diem and fees.
The committee, seeking to ensure high-quality officiating at championships, wants to increase per diem from $40 to $45 and increase fees across all sports by 4 percent.
The committee also took a step toward establishing a minimum requirement for in-region competition in individual/team sports in which teams are selected for championships -- specifically, men's and women's cross country, golf and tennis.
After receiving feedback about the feasibility of an in-region requirement from sports committees, the championships committee plans to seek adoption of a requirement that teams in those sports schedule a minimum of 25 percent of their regular-season competition against in-region opponents in Division III. The requirement is comparable to an existing rule that requires institutions to schedule 50 percent of contests in team sports such as basketball or volleyball against in-region foes.
Before formally recommending an in-region requirement for cross country, golf and tennis, the championships committee will ask committees governing those championships to recommend the best ways to deal with such issues as how to count in-region foes in events that involve multiple teams, such as a cross country meet or golf tournament.
The championships committee plans to forward a recommendation to the Management Council this October, with an eye toward implementation during 2009-10.
The committee also recommended sites for finals in three Division III championships. The championship sites, which must be approved by the Management and Presidents Councils, are:
The championships committee also took the following actions:
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