Division III could consider as many as eight legislative proposals submitted by member conferences for the 2009 Convention, though most of those proposals still must gain additional sponsorship before being placed on the agenda in January.
Among proposals submitted by Tuesday’s deadline for 2009 legislation are two that are each sponsored by two voting conferences, as required for consideration at the Convention. Six other proposals will require another conference or additional schools to join as cosponsors by September 1, in order to be considered.
Under new legislation adopted at the 2008 Convention, a conference or 10 institutions submitting a Convention proposal by July 15 can continue to seek cosponsorship from an additional conference or 10 more institutions until September 1.
Last year, nine proposals were submitted by the membership under the previous requirement that two conferences or 20 institutions must agree to sponsor a proposal by July 15.
The two proposals now eligible for consideration at the Convention would:
- Permit student-athletes in the sports of baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball and women’s volleyball to participate in one date of competition during the nontraditional season without being charged with a season of participation. Current legislation allows a student-athlete to participate only in practice during the nontraditional season or otherwise be charged with a season of participation. The sponsoring conferences (Massachusetts State College Athletic and Allegheny Mountain Athletic Conferences) are suggesting treating the currently permissible one nontraditional-season competition like scrimmages conducted before the first date of competition in the traditional season.
- Establish a uniform date of August 15 as the first permissible practice date in the sports of cross country, field hockey, golf, rugby, soccer, tennis and women’s volleyball. The sponsoring conferences (New Jersey Athletic and City University of New York Athletic Conferences) want to replace the current formula for determining the first practice date for those fall sports, under which schools may begin practice on a date that permits 16 practice opportunities before the first scheduled competition.
The other six proposals (and their originating sponsors) would:
- Require each head coach to be certified in first aid, CPR and AED use (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference).
- Allow through a “tryout exception” the use of institutional facilities by a group for physical activities that includes prospective student-athletes, and the presence during those activities (restricted to involvement consistent with institutional policies for hosting outside organizations) of athletics staff members or representatives of a school’s athletics interests (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference).
- Through another tryout exception, permit use of an institution’s facilities by a group so long as any physical activities involving a prospective student-athlete are related only to a sport that is not sponsored at the varsity level by the institution (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
- Exempt conference championships and postseason tournaments from the requirement to provide one day a week off from athletically related activities (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
- Permit “walk-through” sessions during the five-day acclimatization period at the beginning of preseason practice in football (Empire 8).
- Allow institutions to view throughout the season NCAA computer data related to primary and secondary criteria for ranking and selection of teams for championships (Capital Athletic Conference).
The Division III Management Council will be the first governance-structure body to review the proposals, during its meeting beginning Monday in Minneapolis. The Council is expected only to assign each proposal to an appropriate committee for review and comment; it typically takes no position on membership-sponsored proposals until its October meeting.