NCAA News Archive - 2008

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Membership sponsors seven proposals

Sep 4, 2008 12:16:31 PM

The NCAA News

Seven of the eight proposals submitted by the Division III membership for the 2009 Convention gained sponsorship by September 1, with only a proposal to permit football “walk-through” sessions failing to attract the support of a second conference.

Those seven fully sponsored proposals – including one cosponsored by the Division III Presidents Council – will join five other proposals sponsored by the Presidents Council on the Convention agenda, giving delegates a total of 12 proposals to consider January 17 in Washington, D.C.

All of the membership-sponsored proposals gained support from at least two conferences, except for an Empire 8 proposal to permit “walk-throughs” during the five-day acclimatization period at the beginning of preseason practice in football.

One of the membership-sponsored proposals – an effort by the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference to require every head coach to be certified in first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and use of an automated external defibrillator – already had been placed on the Convention agenda as a result of the Presidents Council’s decision last month to cosponsor the proposal. Even so, that proposal also picked up a second conference sponsor, as the New England Collegiate Conference signed on in support.

Two other membership proposals already were fully sponsored when they initially were submitted in July. Those proposals 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.

Five other proposals submitted by July 15 needed a second conference or 10 schools to sign on as cosponsors before being placed on the Convention agenda. The four proposals that gained at least a second conference sponsor by September 1 would:

•         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. Three conferences – the Northern Athletics, Commonwealth Coast and Massachusetts State College Athletic Conferences – joined the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference in sponsoring the proposal.

  • 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. The Capital Athletic Conference joined the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in sponsorship.
  • Exempt conference championships and postseason tournaments from the requirement to provide one day a week off from athletically related activities. The Capital Athletic Conference also joined the WIAC in sponsoring that proposal.
  • Allow institutions to view throughout the season NCAA computer data related to primary and secondary criteria for ranking and selection of teams for championships. The Colonial States Athletic Conference joined the Capital Athletic Conference in sponsorship.

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. Previously, full sponsorship by two conferences or 20 institutions was required by the July 15 deadline for submitting proposals.

The membership proposals currently are being reviewed by various Division III committees, which will make recommendations to the Division III Management Council on whether to support, oppose or take no position on those proposals. The Management Council then will make recommendations to the Presidents Council, which will decide its positions on the proposals during its October 30 meeting in Indianapolis.

The 2009 Convention will follow a new schedule this year, ending with a Saturday-morning rather than Monday-morning Division III business session. The Convention’s opening business session will be Thursday, January 15, followed by a Division III issues forum Friday morning, January 16, and then the January 17 business session.

Registration will open September 15 for the Convention at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just south of Washington, D.C.

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