By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
The Division I Legislative Council delayed a final decision on modifying the rules regarding the use of student-athlete likenesses in promotions at its spring meeting in Indianapolis on Monday and Tuesday.
The Council defeated three variations of Proposal No. 2010-26 but tabled an amended version that would accommodate advancements in technology and facilitate more authentic promotions associating schools with their sponsors while maintaining the Association’s fundamental principles that prohibit commercial exploitation of student-athletes. The tabled proposal continues many of the safeguards contained within the current rules.
Among current conditions carried over into the tabled legislation are:
The proposal also would maintain current legislation in all areas except as it relates to co-sponsorship of institutional, charitable, educational or nonprofit promotions. The tabled version essentially would codify the Division I Board of Directors’ directive that allows student-athletes to participate in such promotions under certain conditions.
Also carried over are stipulations that would require the institution and student-athlete to approve participation in the promotion; however, the institution could exercise discretion and autonomy in approving the co-sponsorship. The co-sponsor’s affiliation to the institution would have to be clearly stated, and there could not be any endorsement or direct promotion of the co-sponsor’s products or services. The tabled proposal also includes changes to the media-activities provision from Proposal No. 2010-26, eliminating the distinction between activities that occur during and outside the playing season.
The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which had opposed the original proposal, supported the amended and tabled version.
The legislation will remain tabled until the Council’s next regularly scheduled in-person meeting in October. Tabling the legislation gives conferences a final chance to dissect the legislation and review examples of current practices that would be impermissible without updating the legislation in the Division I Manual.
Summer basketball plan
In other business, the Council also tabled legislation that would create a “retention model-summer school plan” for men’s basketball student-athletes. Conceived by the Basketball Academic Enhancement Group, the proposal was initially defeated by the Council in January and then was reinstated into the legislative cycle by the Board.
The proposal would require institutions to assess men’s basketball student-athletes to identify those who require enrollment in summer school. Those who assess at a level that require summer school must enroll in six hours of summer school (and pass three). The plan would also allow coaches to have some access to those student-athletes during the summer for skill development.
Council members decided it was appropriate to wait until the Leadership Council conducts its related and more comprehensive discussion of men’s basketball recruiting in general, which could affect the Legislative Council’s opinion on both the academic and access portions of the legislation.
The Legislative Council did, however, go ahead and approve a proposal aimed at improving the academic performance of football players. The proposal, sponsored by the Atlantic Coast Conference and derived from the Football Academic Working Group, requires football student-athletes to earn nine semester hours (or eight quarter hours) of credit in the fall to be eligible for the entire following season. If the minimum standard isn’t met, the student-athlete would lose eligibility for the first four games the following fall, but he would have the opportunity to earn back two games if he earns 27 semester hours (or 40 quarter hours) before the season begins. The proposal also allows the student-athlete once in his five-year eligibility period to earn back all four games the following season by completing the 27 semester hours (or 40 quarter hours).
Additionally, the Council tabled proposals that would limit the number of noncoaching personnel in men’s and women’s basketball (Proposal No. 2010-16-C and amendments), in the Football Bowl Subdivision (Proposal No. 2010-18-C and amendments) and the Football Championship Subdivision (Proposal No. 2010-20C and amendments).
Council members continue to see merit in the concepts but believe that additional time will help work out concerns about which version had the appropriate limits, potential interpretive matters, monitoring concerns and possible modifications that may better address both competitive equity and financial resources. The Council will seek further input from the Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet, which will meet twice before the Council’s next meeting.
The Council also:
The Legislative Council actions will be considered final at the close of the Division I Board of Directors meeting on April 28.