Rules Working Group to make final recommendations
Members have just a few more days to provide feedback to the Rules Working Group in advance of the group’s final recommendations to the Division I Board of Directors at the 2013 NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas.
During its December 17-18 meeting in Indianapolis, the working group is expected to fine-tune the 27 proposals it developed with feedback from the membership on. The proposals represent the first phase of the working group’s efforts toward making Division I rules more meaningful, enforceable and supportive of student-athlete success.
The first phase includes proposed legislative changes in athletics personnel (Bylaw 11); amateurism (Bylaw 12); recruiting (Bylaw 13); eligibility (Bylaw 14); and awards, benefits and expenses (Bylaw 16). Also included in the first phase is a change to the NCAA constitution outlining the Division I commitments, the standards by which Division I legislation will be judged in the future.
The second phase will include financial aid (Bylaw 15) and playing and practice seasons (Bylaw 17), as well as other concepts that were examined in the first phase but require additional time for development and membership feedback (meals, recruiting calendars, etc.). Broad membership feedback for the second phase concepts will begin in February.
The Board will vote on the proposals on January 19, and those that are adopted will be effective August 1, 2013 or earlier. Since the proposals were first sponsored last summer, the membership has taken advantage of multiple opportunities to provide feedback to the Rules Working Group.
The NCAA objects to the claims put forward in the suit. A jury trial is currently scheduled for February 2014.
CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 2
|Proposal||Points to Consider|
|Prop. No. 2-1 would establish a set of commitments for Division I, including a commitment to fair competition. The shift to a fair competition model acknowledges that natural advantages exist between campuses that cannot – and should not – be regulated. The changes are intended to better define what fairness means in terms of eligible student-athletes, scholarships, the length of the playing and recruiting seasons and the number of coaches.||The shift to a fair competition model acknowledges that natural advantages exist between campuses that cannot – and should not – be regulated. The changes are intended to better define what fairness means in terms of eligible student-athletes, scholarships, the length of the playing and recruiting seasons and the number of coaches. Ultimately, retaining the current rules will not impede the competitive shift.|
BYLAW 11 Athletics Personnel
|Proposal||Points to Consider|
|Prop. No. 11-2 would eliminate legislation related to recruiting coordination functions that must be performed by a head or assistant coach.||This change would allow schools and, if desired, conferences, to make decisions about who should be responsible for recruiting prospects. This proposal will allow schools to decide which athletics personnel will be responsible for evaluating and communicating with prospects. The proposal maintains the requirement that all off-campus recruiting be done by countable coaches, which protects the integrity of the recruiting rules.|
|Prop. No. 11-3-B would prohibit in-person scouting, except when a school is participating in the same tournament or doubleheader event at the same site as a future opponent.||This change acknowledges that video of future opponents is easily available from a variety of sources and that most in the membership believe that live scouting could have a direct impact on the fairness of competition.|
|Prop. No. 11-4 would eliminate the “baton rule” that limited the number of coaches who could be off campus recruiting at any one time.||According to feedback from the membership, the baton rule has been difficult to monitor. This proposal would maintain the requirement that only authorized countable coaches can engage in off-campus recruiting, while providing schools the opportunity to develop and implement their own policies and procedures for determining when coaches should be on and off campus.|
BYLAW 12 Amateurism
|Proposal||Points to Consider|
|Prop. 12-1 would create a uniform definition of actual and necessary competition-related expenses and clarify that actual and necessary expenses are only those related to the individual athlete’s participation on a team or in an event, not expenses for others, such as parents or coaches.||This change would provide the same flexibility to prospective student-athletes on amateur teams that currently exists for prospective student-athletes competing on professional teams|
|Prop. No. 12-2 would allow an individual to receive prize money up to the amount of his or her actual and necessary expenses incurred during the calendar year.||Currently, prize money for an event may only be accepted up to the amount of the individual’s actual and necessary expenses for that event. However, if an individual violates the current rule and the institution seeks reinstatement of his or her eligibility, calendar year expenses are considered as mitigation. The change would prevent individuals whose annual expenses exceed their annual prize money from breaking NCAA amateurism rules, even if the prize money for a single event exceeds their actual and necessary expenses for that event.|
|Prop. No. 12-3 would allow prospects to receive expenses that exceed actual and necessary expenses by up to $300 without impacting the prospect’s eligibility, as long as the expenses were provided by a permissible source like a club team or the nonprofessional sponsor of an event. The legislation would also eliminate the requirement that institutions self-report such a violation.||The student-athlete reinstatement staff typically reinstates the eligibility of prospects in such cases, so the proposal would reduce the administrative burden on institutions and the NCAA staff.|
|Prop. No. 12-4 would allow individuals to receive actual and necessary expenses from an outside sponsor other than an agent, booster or a professional sports organization.||Current legislation only permits expenses to be provided by parents or legal guardians, nonprofessional sponsors of an event or by a team the individual represents. The proposal would simplify the legislation and grant all prospective and enrolled student-athletes the same flexibility the current legislation provides to prospective student-athletes who participate in individual sports. During the academic year, student-athletes would continue to be prohibited from participating as a member of an outside, non collegiate, amateur team.|
|Prop. No. 12-5 would allow prospects and student-athletes in sports other than tennis to receive payment based on performance or as an incentive up to actual and necessary expenses from an amateur team or event sponsor. In tennis, the rule permitting an individual, prior to full-time collegiate enrollment, to accept up to $10,000 in prize money per calendar year, plus additional prize money on a per event basis, provided the prize money does not exceed actual and necessary expenses for the event, remains in effect.||This proposal would permit student-athletes in sports other than tennis, after full-time collegiate enrollment, to have the same opportunities to receive prize money based on performance or place finish that the proposal provides individuals in all other sports. The rule change provides greater consistency across all sports and between prospective and enrolled student-athletes. Outside competition during the academic year (with limited exceptions) and accepting more than actual and necessary expenses would remain prohibited.|
|Prop. No. 12-6 would allow governmental entities to provide actual and necessary expenses for developmental training, coaching, facility usage, equipment, apparel, supplies, comprehensive health insurance, travel and room and board to prospects and student-athletes.||Right now, only the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), international equivalent or the appropriate national governing bodies (NGBs) in specific sports can provide those expenses. This proposal would provide opportunities for individuals to accept these expenses from governmental entities without jeopardizing their NCAA eligibility.|
BYLAW 13 Recruiting
|Proposal||Points to Consider|
|Prop. No. 13-1 would allow earlier access to recruits who have committed to a school in writing. The rule would allow schools to treat prospects who have signed the National Letter of Intent (NLI) as student-athletes for the purposes of Bylaw 13. If a school does not use the NLI in a sport, signing the school’s written offer of admission or financial aid would allow those prospects to be treated like student-athletes for the purposes of Bylaw 13. Activities or actions that would have been impermissible recruiting inducements for the prospect under current rules would be considered extra benefits under this proposal. The proposal also allows individuals who report to an institutional orientation session that is open to all incoming students within 14 calendar days prior to the opening of classes for a regular term during the academic year to be treated as student-athletes.||This change would provide schools more flexibility when contacting committed recruits, which could lead to an increase in team retention rates and Academic Progress Rates because of the additional opportunities to strengthening the relationship between the coach and the student-athlete.|
|Prop. No. 13-2 would provide all sports a uniform date for off-campus contacts and for telephoning or sending recruiting materials to prospects. Off-campus contacts would be permitted beginning the prospect’s first day of classes for the junior year in high school. July 1 after the completion of the sophomore year in high school (or the first day of classes of junior year, whichever is earlier) would be the first permissible date for phone calls or electronic communication.||This proposal supports the development of better relationships between prospects and coaches, which may lead to more-informed recruiting decisions. The Leadership Council opposed this proposal because of a lack of consensus among all constituents about the date.|
|Prop. No. 13-3 would eliminate restrictions on modes and numerical limitations on recruiting communication.||Current rules in this area are seen as cumbersome and difficult to enforce. Removing the restrictions would permit institutions to exchange information with prospects in more efficient, less intrusive ways. Schools and conferences would have the discretion to establish policies and procedures governing the recruitment of prospects by athletics department staff. Although Proposal Nos. 13-2 and 13-3 will be examined and voted on separately, if both are adopted, then Division I will have a uniform date for initial recruiting and no limits on modes or numbers of communication.|
|Prop. No. 13-4 would eliminate the legislation that requires schools to provide admissions, graduation rates, APR data, banned drug lists and initial-eligibility standards to prospects.||The Eligibility Center already provides this information to all prospects, and the current legislation only codifies policies and procedures the NCAA Eligibility Center will continue to follow.|
|Prop. No 13-5-B would prohibit schools from sending or providing prospects printed recruiting materials other than general correspondence. Schools would be permitted to post recruiting materials to their websites and would be permitted to attach educational material published by the NCAA; nonathletics institutional publications; questionnaires and camp or clinic brochures to electronically transmitted correspondence or as a hyperlink to an institution’s website at any time.||Based on feedback received, the membership considers the current rules difficult to apply and monitor, and technology has created less costly means of providing information to prospects. Additionally, student-athletes have said they do not make recruiting decisions based on the types and amount of recruiting materials they receive. This proposal would require schools to decide what recruiting materials will be placed on the school’s web site. An alternate proposal, No. 13-5-A, would eliminate all restrictions on recruiting materials and permit institutions to decide what recruiting materials are appropriate to provide to prospects. The RWG will discuss both proposals during its December meeting, before making its final recommendation to the Board of Directors.|
|Prop. No. 13-6 would eliminate restrictions related to general advertising or promotional materials designed to solicit enrollment of prospects. Personalized promotions would continue to be prohibited.||This proposal would allow institutions to decide whether to fund general recruiting advertisements, and to decide the nature of such advertisements (billboards, high school game programs). The Leadership Council opposed this proposal.|
|Prop. No. 13-7 would eliminate the publicity restrictions related to prospects who have formally committed to an institution by signing an NLI or a written offer of admission and/or financial aid or by placing a financial deposit with a school in response to its offer of admission.||The current legislation governing publicity is regarded as inconsequential once a prospect has made this type of commitment. The membership feedback received points to a belief that once such a commitment has been made, a school or conference should have discretion regarding publicity related to the prospect.|
|Prop. No. 13-8 would eliminate many of the camp and clinic employment rules related to the employment of prospects and student-athletes. It would also allow senior football prospects to participate in a school’s camps and clinics.||Employment of prospective and enrolled student-athletes would still be required to be for work actually performed and at a rate commensurate with the going rate in the area for similar services. Compensation for only lecturing or demonstrating would remain prohibited.|
BYLAW 14 Eligibility
|Proposal||Points to Consider|
|Prop. No. 14-1 would eliminate the inconsequential legislation within the bylaw and other rules that are directly supported by school policies. This includes legislation regulating participation in high school all-star games, the manner in which a student-athlete designates his or her degree program and early admission waivers addressed elsewhere in the legislation. The proposal also establishes a uniform period for temporary certification of freshmen and two-year college transfers (45 days), making it easier for schools to monitor those situations.||This proposal is in keeping with the RWG charge to eliminate inconsequential rules.|
BYLAW 16 Awards, Benefits and Expenses
|Proposal||Points to Consider|
|Prop. No. 16-1 would allow a school, conference or the NCAA to provide an award to a student-athlete anytime after initial full-time enrollment, provided the student is eligible to receive the award.||The proposal would not change the value limitations for awards, nor would it permit a student-athlete to contribute toward the purchase of an award.|
|Prop. No. 16-2 would allow a school, conference, the USOC, an NGB or the awarding agency to provide actual and necessary expenses for a student-athlete (as well as the student-athlete’s parents, legal guardians, spouse or other relatives) to receive a non-institutional award or recognition for athletics or academic accomplishments.||The rule change would enhance the student-athlete experience and provide greater flexibility for entities to provide expenses.|
|Prop. No. 16-3 would allow schools, conferences or the NCAA to provide academic support, career counseling or personal development services that support the success of student-athletes.||This would allow schools to provide things like non-required course supplies and permit additional support for student-athletes’ academic and personal success.|
|Prop. No. 16-4 would allow schools, conferences and the NCAA to provide medical and other related expenses and services to student-athletes.||Schools overwhelmingly support this proposal, believing they are in the best position to determine what is needed for the health, safety and physical and mental well-being of their student-athletes. Already, schools can pay for most medical expenses through the Student Assistance Fund. Examples of expenses this proposal would allow schools to pay for include glasses, contact lenses and protective eyewear not required for athletics participation.|
|Prop. No. 16-5 would revise all references to a student-athlete’s “spouse,” “parents,” “family member,” or “children” in Bylaw 16 to “relative or individual of a comparable relationship, ” enabling a student-athlete’s relative or individual of comparable relationship to receive certain benefits, such as transportation, housing and meal expenses associated with the student-athlete’s injury or illness; actual and necessary expenses to a postseason football game or a round of an NCAA championship in which the student-athlete is a participant or actual and necessary expenses to attend national team competition in which the student-athlete participates.||This proposal would update the definition of family to include nontraditional families and allow schools additional discretion to make decisions about what benefits they will provide. These changes could potentially reduce a school’s need for waivers and interpretations related to these benefits. Agents and individuals who meet the definition of “individual associated with a prospect” are not included in the definition of an “individual of a comparable relationship.”|
|Prop. No. 16-7 would allow schools to provide actual and necessary expenses to student-athletes representing their school in practice or competition, and in other events like goodwill tours, media appearances and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee events. This rule would eliminate the departure/return expense restrictions rules and allow schools to provide apparel and equipment as they deem necessary.||This would provide schools greater flexibility when scheduling travel. Schools’ missed class policies will help ensure that the Academic Progress Rate is not negatively impacted by the increased flexibility.|
|Prop. No. 16-8 would allow student-athletes to receive actual and necessary expenses and reasonable benefits associated with national team practice and competition. It also would permit institutions to provide actual and necessary expenses for an unlimited number of national team tryouts and championship events.||These changes would provide additional opportunities for student-athletes who otherwise might not be able to participate in these events.|