NCAA News Archive - 2008

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Increase in funding for competitors tops championships priorities

Feb 21, 2008 7:46:23 AM

By Jack Copeland
The NCAA News

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.

In-region requirement

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.

Championship sites

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:

  •      Ursinus College as host of the 2008 Division III Field Hockey Championship. Ursinus also hosted last spring's field hockey final.
  •      Boston as host of the 2009 Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship. The city also will be recommended as host of the Divisions I and II lacrosse championships, with Harvard serving as the host institution.
  •      Baldwin-Wallace as host of the 2009 Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships in Cleveland. That city will host several Division III championship events during 2009-10 as part of what is being billed as the "Year of Champions" there.

Other highlights

The championships committee also took the following actions:

  •      Set a deadline of June 1 for single-sport conferences seeking automatic qualification for 2008-09 championships to submit applications under a recently approved waiver provision. The new provision permits the championships committee to award AQ to such conferences formed before September 2007 and including at least seven active members, as well as to conferences meeting other specific criteria. The committee will make an online application form available in April, and it noted that once a waiver is approved, a conference will not be required to reapply in subsequent years, so long as that conference continues to meet the relevant criteria. Application deadlines for 2009-10 and subsequent years also were set by the committee, including a December 1 deadline for conferences seeking a waiver for fall sports during the following championships year and a May 1 deadline for conferences seeking a waiver for the following year's winter and spring championships.
  •      In response to interest expressed by Division III conference commissioners in expanding Webcasting of championships, supported the concept of aiding host institutions in providing Webcasts of preliminary rounds of competition, subject to availability of funds.

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