Daily Compliance Item- 3/20/13- Rules Working Group- Suspension of Proposals 11-2, 13-5-A

Board suspends two recruiting proposals

NCAA.org

 

The Division I Board of Directors Monday suspended two of the 25 pieces of legislation it adopted in January, responding to extensive membership feedback that despite the benefits of the proposals, the new rules could have a negative impact on prospects and their families, college coaches and administrators.

Override process continues

The override process for Prop. No. RWG-13-3 continues, with a deadline of 5 p.m. March 20. As of Monday afternoon, 48 schools had requested an override of that proposal, which deregulated communication with recruits.

If 75 schools request an override, the Board must review the proposal in question. If 125 schools request an override the proposals are suspended until the Board review. If the Board declines to change its position on the proposals, the full membership votes on them through an online process.

Monday’s Board action initiates another 60-day override period of the two rules that were suspended . As of Monday afternoon, 66 schools had requested an override of the proposal that eliminated the definition of recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach, and 70 schools had requested an override of the proposal that eliminated restrictions on printed materials sent to prospects.

Schools have until May 17 to request an override of the Board’s March 18 action.

The Board postponed new rules deregulating who can perform recruiting tasks and what printed materials can be sent to prospects. Board members also considered suspending a third proposal that eliminated restrictions on modes and numerical limitations of recruiting contacts, but they ultimately agreed to let the membership decide that rule’s future through the override process.

 

Suspending the rules means they will not become effective unless and until appropriate modifications are made. The Rules Working Group, which proposed the changes as part of a package of legislation the Board adopted in January, will continue to study the concepts.

The Board’s action came about 10 days after the Rules Working Group recommended the presidents suspend the printed materials deregulation and the removal of restrictions on who can perform recruiting tasks. The working group considered the deregulation of recruiting communication as well, but it wanted to let the membership decide the rule’s future through the override process.

Board chair Nathan Hatch, president at Wake Forest, convened the presidents to respond to the Rules Working Group and membership feedback as quickly as possible.

“We are listening to our member schools and hope that continued discussion of these issues will enable us to reach a decision that helps our student-athletes and their institutions. We look forward to reviewing the result of further collaboration between coaches, administrators and student-athletes and members of the Rules Working Group,” Hatch said. “The other presidents on the Board and I had a strong desire to be responsive to the concerns expressed by our colleagues.”

Of the 25 proposals adopted by the Board in January, the three reviewed by the Board Monday generated immediate discussion among the membership. However, the majority of measures proposed by the Rules Working Group and adopted by the Board were supported.

“We are committed to the reform effort. We will move forward with these concepts with collaboration from all interested parties,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “Suspending these proposals for continued review will provide our coaches, administrators and student-athletes the additional opportunity to have their voices heard.”

Some coaches and administrators expressed concern that deregulation in this area might lead to a recruiting arms race that could overwhelm prospects, college coaches and athletics department budgets. Much of the tension is specific to football, though the concerns could translate to any sport.

The Board suspended the rules to give the Rules Working Group and the membership more time to determine the best course of action on the concepts presented in the proposals. For example, the working group will determine if there is middle ground between banning schools from sending any printed materials to prospects and allowing schools to send whatever they want to prospects.

Board keeps texting rule

The Board decided to leave in place the rule that eliminated restrictions governing modes and numerical limitations on recruiting communication because it felt that many concerns were addressed through the suspension of Prop. No. RWG-11-2.

Suspending RWG-11-2 eliminated the fears about having an unlimited number of staff members contacting prospects an unlimited number of times. When it initially proposed the rule change, the Rules Working Group believed the measure acknowledged both the increased use of text-messaging by prospects over the last several years and the growing difficulty of distinguishing between text messages, email and messages sent through social media. The rule also is expected to relieve a significant monitoring burden from the shoulders of compliance administrators.

Before making its decision, the Board discussed that football coaches are currently permitted to make an unlimited number of telephone calls to prospects during the fall contact period, which runs from late November until the Saturday prior to the National Letter of Intent signing day in February. Given this, the practical impact of RWG-13-3 will be to permit unlimited calls for only a few additional months.

The Board members also noted that coaches are already permitted to send an unlimited number of emails or other direct messages on various social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook), so deregulation in this area provides consistency and simplifies the legislation.

Men’s basketball has operated without numerical or mode restrictions on recruiting contacts for nearly a year, and feedback has been positive.

As with all proposals adopted as part of the reform effort, RWG-13-3 will undergo a review after two years.

Daily Compliance Item- 3/19/13- 13.7.2.1- Comp Admissions to a Staff Member’s relative

Ocean State University (OSU) baseball team is competing in away from home contests Friday and Saturday.  The games will be played in the sport administrator’s home town, so he would like for his two nephews to come watch.  If the nephews have reached prospect age, is it permissible for OSU to provide complimentary admissions?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 3/15/13-Complimentary Admissions to an Away-From-Home Contest for an Athletic Department Staff Member’s Relative who is a Prospective Student-Athlete (I)- states that an institution may provide complimentary admissions to an away-from-home contest to an athletic department staff member’s relative who is a prospective student-athlete.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.02.12 (prospective student-athlete); 13.2 (offers and inducements); 13.6.7.1 (general restrictions) and 13.7.2.1 (general restrictions), and a staff interpretation (9/14/90, Item No. a), which has been archived]

Daily Compliance Item- 3/18/13- 13.8.2- Honoring HS Coach Who is an Alumnus

Ocean State University (OSU) would like to honor an alumnus this weekend at a home athletic contest.  This individual was an all-american basketball player at OSU and just earned his 1000 win as a local HS coach.  As part of the celebration, OSU will conduct a ceremony at halftime and provide a plaque.  Is this arrangement permissible?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 3/15/13- Institution Providing Recognition to High School Coach who is an Alumna or Alumnus (I)- states that an institution may publicly recognize a special achievement (e.g., retirement, coaching accomplishment) of a high school coach who is an alumna or alumnus of the institution and may provide benefits incidental to recognition of that award (e.g., award, certificate, meal) to the recipient and his or her relatives.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.2.1 (general regulations); 13.4.3.1 (recruiting advertisements); 13.8.1 (entertainment restrictions) and 13.8.2 (material benefits), and a staff interpretation (12/21/05, Item No. a), which has been archived]

NCAA legal filing reveals fears of college sports officials

USATODAY.com

Lawyers for the NCAA wrote in a federal-court filing Thursday that if the association’s current amateurism rules were lifted, as proposed in a lawsuit pertaining to the use of college athletes’ names, likeness and images, some schools might exit Division I or Bowl Subdivision football because of the financial and legal burden that would result from needing to share revenue with football and men’s basketball players.

The assertion was backed by written statements from a group of conference and university executives, including the University of Texas’ top athletics officials, the chancellor of the California State University system and the presidents of Utah State and Wake Forest.

Texas “has no interest in a model that would force us to professionalize two sports to the detriment of the balance of the athletics department’s sports, fitness and educational programs,” says a statement from Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds and Texas women’s athletics director Christine Plonsky. Dodd and Plonsky oversee a program that generated a college-sports record $163.3 million in 2011-12, according to its recent financial report to the NCAA report.

Wake Forest “might cease playing Division I or Football Bowl Subdivision sports entirely if pay-for-play became a reality,” says a statement from university president Nathan Hatch.

Hatch also cited gender equity concerns, as did CSU chancellor Timothy White. “Paying male athletes for their participation in sports would seriously undermine the objectives of Title IX and CSU’s ability to remain in Title IX compliance,” said the statement from White whose university system includes nearly 10 NCAA Division I schools.

Utah State president Stan Albrecht’s statement said in “pay-for-play” scenario, “it is likely that USU would not be able to fund the 16 sports that the NCAA requires to qualify for Division I.”

Albrecht’s statement also revealed that at present, a Utah State athlete “receives four to five times the amount of financial support from the University than a non-student-athlete receives. That amount would necessarily increase for football and men’s basketball. … That model would not be feasible financially or consistent with USU’s institutional principles.”

The statements were among a massive set of documents the NCAA and its co-defendants unloaded in a U.S. District Court in California in an aggressive attack on efforts to have the case certified as a class action that would potentially involve thousands of former and current football and men’s basketball players, billions of dollars in damages and pose a threat to the current system of how athletes are compensated for playing these sports in college.

Thursday’s filings, comprising several different legal arguments and hundreds of exhibits, totaled nearly 2,100 pages. Among the exhibits are three expert reports and the recently gathered statements from nearly two dozen NCAA, conference and university officials.

The volume and vociferousness of the NCAA’s filings comes in the wake of a ruling in late January by Judge Claudia Wilken, in which she allowed the plaintiffs’ lawyers proceed with efforts to have the case certified as a class action even though the NCAA and its co-defendants had filed a motion in October 2012 to end them, in part because they contended the plaintiffs had changed their legal strategy in a way that was unfair. (The NCAA’s lawyers renewed that contention Thursday.)

The suit, initially filed in May 2009, is against the NCAA; video-game maker Electronic Arts and the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, Collegiate Licensing Co. Its named plaintiffs include former basketball stars Ed O’Bannon, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell.

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated anti-trust law by conspiring to fix at zero the amount of compensation athletes can receive for the use of their names, images and likenesses in products or media while they are in school and by requiring athletes to sign forms under which they relinquish in perpetuity all rights pertaining to the use of the names, images and likenesses in ways including TV contracts, rebroadcasts of games, and video game, jersey and other apparel sales.

In seeking certification of their suit as a class action, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said that while they are seeking monetary damages on behalf of former athletes, they “do not seek compensation to be paid to current student-athletes while they maintain their eligibility” but rather “a less restrictive, namely that monies generated by the licensing and sale of class members’ names, images and likenesses can be temporarily held in trust” until their end of their college playing careers.

Hatch’s statement in Thursday’s filing said: “Instituting a pay-for-play model, even if the payments are deferred to after graduation would change the nature of the relationship Wake Forest has with its football and men’s basketball student-athletes. It would, essentially, turn those teams into professional squads. That would not be acceptable to Wake Forest.”

The statements of Hatch and the other officials were part of NCAA lawyers’ attack on the work of plaintiffs’ expert Roger Noll, an economics professor emeritus at Stanford. Noll’s report in the case report provided a method of “determining how … revenue would allocated between colleges and student-athletes in the absence of the restrictions that the NCAA imposes,” the plaintiffs said in a previous filing. Noll’s method is based on a 50-50 split for telecasts and a one-third split for video games based on recognized economic principles, examples from pro sports, and examples from music artists’ licensing, plaintiffs’ filings and Noll’s report say.

In Thursday’s filings, the NCAA’s lawyers not only questioned the validity of Noll’s methodology and his proposed method of determining how the athletes’ share of the revenues would be divided among the athletes, but also argued that his report is not admissible. (They specifically asked Wilken to strike Noll’s proposed testimony and that of another plaintiffs’ expert.) Citing a deposition of Noll, the NCAA lawyers wrote that Noll “admits that one of the key features of his ‘model’ – the 50-50 ‘revenue split’ between schools and class members – is based not on any economic analysis but rather his personal ‘assumption’ that it is correct.”

The NCAA lawyers also said that even if Noll view is accepted, “The likelihood that at least some schools would simply stop providing athletics-based aid … either by eliminating their football or men’s basketball team, or by adopting a Division III model prohibiting all athletics-based aid means some portion of the class is better off in the real world … and therefore suffered no antitrust impact from Division I’s allegedly illegal rules.”

 

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliancde Item- 3/13/13- 16.8.1.6- Incidental Money for Postseason Play

Ocean State University (OSU) will be hosting first and second round games for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.  Since OSU is the host institution, can the coaches provide incidental money to its women’s basketball student-athletes for their participation in the tournament?

Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 12/21/11-Incidental Expenses at NCAA Championships, National Governing Body Championships in Emerging Sports and Postseason Bowl Games Conducted in Locale of Participating Institution (I)- states that an institution participating in an NCAA championship or National Governing Body championship in an emerging sport conducted in the locale of the institution (i.e., the proximity of the competition site to the institution does not necessitate travel) may provide up to $30 per day to each member of the squad to cover unitemized incidental expenses during a period not to exceed the maximum number of days of per diem allowed for the involved championship as established by the applicable sport committee. In football, an institution participating in a postseason bowl game conducted in the locale of the institution may provide up to $30 per day to each member of the squad for a period not to exceed 10 days, beginning not earlier than the day that the institution’s football team begins official practice for the bowl game.

[References: NCAA Bylaw 16.8.1.6 (incidental expenses at NCAA championships, national governing body championships in emerging sports and licensed bowl games); and an official interpretation (08/02/00, Item No. 1), which has been archived]

Daily Compliance Item- 3/12/13- 11.6- Scouting

With the adoption of RWG Proposal 11-3-B, it is impermissible for coaches to scout future opponents (in the same season), except for scouting future opponents participating in the same tournament at the same site or the same double header event at the same site.  For purposes of this proposal, how is “future opponent” defined?

A future opponent is an opponent that appears on a team’s schedule in the remainder of the same season (including championship and nonchampionship segments).

This legislation has an August 1, 2013 effective date.

Daily Compliance Item- 3/11/13- 13.4.1.1- Game Programs

Ocean State University men’s basketball coaches will be hosting several prospects on official visits at the conclusion of the season.  Can the coaches provide these prospects with a game program from their conference tournament?

Yes.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 12/2/87- Game programs from postseason bowl or conference basketball tournament- states that it would be permissible for a member institution to provide to a prospective student-athlete a game program from the institution’s postseason bowl game or conference basketball tournament.

NCAA Bylaw 13.4.1.1(g)- states that game programs (which may not include posters) may be provided to prospective student-athletes only during official and unofficial recruiting visits and may not be mailed.