INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Management Council approved proposals at its April 10 meeting in Savannah, Georgia that would redefine the length of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons and eliminate the “two-in-four rule.”
The Council is forwarding to the Board of Directors options in that regard, which would establish the second Friday in November as the official start date for the season. The Board will review and vote on the Council’s decisions April 27.
The base proposal allows for either 27 or 28 regular-season games and the ability to exempt participation in one multiple-team event, such as the NIT Season Tip-Off or the Maui Invitational, once per year. The Management Council pushed for a 29-regular-season game option believing it reduces the differential in the number of games played by teams that do and do not participate in multiple-team events.
Under the base proposal, for example, teams that elect to exempt a multiple-team event (which can include up to four games) must count that event as one contest against a 27-game maximum. Thus, participation in a four-game multiple-team event could result in a total of 31 regular-season games. Teams that do not participate in a multiple-team event could potentially play up to 28 regular-season games.
The new proposals also allow teams to exempt their conference tournaments, which means teams in conferences that do not accept all members into their postseason tournament would no longer have to hold a spot open for those tournaments.
In other items of interest, the Council tabled two controversial proposals dealing with medical expenses. Proposal No. 05-101 specifies that medical expenses be limited to athletically related injuries or illnesses. Proposal No. 05-102 allows schools to buy medical insurance policies that cover expenses for any student-athlete injury or illness. Council members tabled the proposals in order to review possible cost and competitive-equity concerns. The Council plans to review the additional data before considering whether a change is necessary.
The Council also approved and sent to the Board Proposal No. 03-24, which requires schools to award financial aid on an annual basis rather than term-by-term. The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee strongly supported the idea, as did the Committee on Academic Performance.
The Council also chose a vice-chair and welcomed a new chair. Jackie Campbell, an associate commissioner with the Atlantic 10 Conference, was named vice-chair of the Division I Management Council. Kate Hickey, former vice-chair of the Council and an associate athletics director at Rutgers University, will now serve as chair, replacing Ron Wellman, director of athletics at Wake Forest University, whose term expired.
The next Management Council meeting will be October 16-17 in Indianapolis.