The Ocean State University women’s basketball team will be traveling to its conference tournament this weekend. When confirming the flight arrangements for the trip, the institution’s travel coordinator noticed a significant cost difference if the team were to leave a day earlier. The difference in price would save the institution $2000 per member of the official travel party. If the head coach decides to leave a day earlier to take advantage of the cheaper fare, the student-athletes will be departing campus more than 48 hours prior to the first competition in the conference tournament. Is it permissible for the team to depart campus earlier than 48 hours from the first competition?
Yes with a waiver granted by the Conference Office. NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199.1.2 states that a conference may grant a waiver of the 48-hour departure restriction for extenuating circumstances associated with travel prior to competition in a conference championship event. (Adopted: 4/24/08 effective 8/1/08)
Institution’s team departing for multicompetition event
Date Published: June 16, 1994
Item Ref: 3
3. Institution’s team departing for multicompetition event. In a situation where the 48-hour departure limitation is applicable, an institution that is participating in a multicompetition event (e.g., conference tournament) may depart 48 hours prior to the event’s first round of competition (as opposed to 48 hours prior to the institution’s first scheduled competition). [References: 16.7.2 (departure/return restrictions) and 188.8.131.52.1 (departure/return expense restrictions)]