Daily Compliance Item 1/20/14- Baseball and Basketball Transfers

Right Field is a baseball student-athlete that transferred to Ocean State University (OSU) in January 2014.  Right’s previous institution dropped the sport of baseball last year.  Because he qualifies for an exception to the residence requirement, and assuming he meets all NCAA transfer and PTD requirements, is Right permitted to compete for OSU during the spring 2014 semester?

No.  NCAA Bylaw states that in baseball and basketball, a student-athlete who initially enrolls at the certifying institution as a full-time student after the conclusion of the first term of the academic year and qualifies for an exception to the one-year residence requirement shall not be eligible for competition until the ensuing academic year.  (Adopted:  6/24/09)

Would the answer remain the same if Right transferred to OSU as a graduate student?

Yes.  NCAA Official Interpretatio- 10/19/12- Baseball or Basketball Midyear Graduate Transfer (I)- states that, in baseball and basketball, a graduate student-athlete who qualifies for the one-time transfer exception but initially enrolls as a full-time student at the certifying institution after the first term of the academic year shall not be eligible for competition until the ensuing academic year.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws (one-time transfer exception), (competition in year of transfer) and (baseball and basketball — midyear enrollee) and a 9/21/12 staff interpretation, Item No. a, which has been archvived]

Daily Compliance Item 1/17/14- Current Event

NCAA gears up for Division I power shift


Story Highlights

  • A 14-page proposal with a broad outline for change at the Division I level is to be debated this week
  • The proposal also attempts to streamline the organization
  • NCAA president Mark Emmert said the discussion will ‘lead to potentially a very significant change’

SAN DIEGO — As the NCAA holds its annual convention this week, its members are moving toward significant change that would give more power to the wealthiest, highest-profile schools but would keep the organization intact.

Schools in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — which financially and in tradition form the upper tier of the Football Bowl Subdivision — are set to gain more autonomy to provide more benefits to athletes, including a stipend, and to use their resources as they see fit. The net effect would be to formalize the gap between the NCAA’s haves and have-nots and to eliminate the “level playing field” as an ideal.

A 14-page proposal with a broad outline for change at the Division I level is to be debated this week. Nothing is expected to be finalized, but it’s likely that by next fall, the NCAA will operate with a new structure.

NCAA president Mark Emmert called the discussion, “a little complicated and not very exciting,” but added, “it will lead to potentially a very significant change in the way Division I operates.”

The proposal also attempts to streamline the organization. There has been a growing sense among NCAA members of a disconnect, especially as it pertained to policy-makers — for the last few years, school presidents, along with the NCAA employees in Indianapolis — vs. athletic directors working daily in college athletics.

Issues with the enforcement process, including the public airing of misconduct by enforcement staff in an investigation into Miami, helped bring tensions to a simmer. There was also perception that other initiatives, including attempts to deregulate recruiting, were enacted without sufficient input from athletic directors, other administrators and coaches with direct understanding of the issues.

On a separate but parallel track, schools in the power conferences chafed at the constraints placed upon them by schools with fewer resources. In recent years, proposals such as stipends (or enhanced scholarships designed to cover full cost of attendance), favored by the 65 schools in the five wealthiest conferences, were voted down by the larger Division I membership of more than 350 schools.

Last summer, commissioners of the five power conferences went public with varying degrees of dissatisfaction. The coordinated message was that change was imperative — along with the suggestion that if they didn’t get their way, a separate subdivision (known in the discussion as Division 4) or even a complete breakaway from the NCAA might be necessary.

If not formal, the gap between the haves and have-nots is already very real. Analysis by USA TODAY Sports, as one example, shows the average SEC public school’s operational expenses in 2011-12 were $88.5 million according to the most recently available information reported by the schools to the NCAA. The average Mountain West school spent $41.3 million. The financial divide between the top five leagues in FBS and the other five leagues (along with the Mountain West, the American Athletic, Conference-USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt) is expected to grow dramatically with the SEC’s new TV money and the advent of the College Football Playoff, which begins next season.

The disparity is even more pronounced when compared to schools in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and in non-football Division I schools (known as I-AAA).

“The reality is, some schools have distinct advantages anyway, inherently,” Villanova athletic director Vince Nicastro told USA TODAY Sports. “Geographic advantage, others have tradition. There are already some inherent advantages. Money is just one of them. … It hasn’t been equal in a long time.”

A separate subdivision is not in the proposal to be considered this week, and appears unlikely. Although football is the driver for much of the change, there’s no apparent for changes that would harm the NCAA basketball tournament.

“It’s not really on the table,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told USA TODAY Sports, referring to a separate subdivision. “We’re trying to get everybody under the tent.”

But the possibility remains, if only as leverage. At the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum last month, Delany said a separate subdivision “is not off the table.” Members of the power conferences have stressed a desire to work within the current system. But they’re pushing for a weighted voting system that will in essence provide them with a super-majority.

“I think what you’ll see is more autonomy given to schools that have more resources to invest in athletics,” Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox said. “That’s always been the argument: How do you create a level playing field when you have some schools that have $100 million budgets vs. those that have $30-50 million budgets, and in the legislative process to try to level that playing field, you come out with pieces of legislation that are not always agreed upon, particularly by those schools that have more resources.”

The proposal under consideration this week limits the power conferences’ autonomy to specific issues, including stipends and other things labeled as “student-athlete welfare.” Delany previously called them “21st-century needs,” including things like providing travel expenses for players’ parents to attend games or providing funds to pay for players’ “lifetime” educational opportunities – after they’ve finished playing. The power conferences, which have benefited from a windfall in TV revenue in recent years, remain adamantly opposed to a pay-for-play model.

“We’ve got the resources,” Delany said. “We want to provide more and better full experiences, whether it’s lifetime educational assurance or support. We need the autonomy to do that. Right now it’s probably a little bit imbalanced. There’s an awful lot of voting that occurs on the basis of a level playing field, rather than what’s right for the student-athlete in a high-resource environment.”

Specific details remain elusive. “Division I Governance Dialogue” sessions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday to discuss the proposal. In order to implement changes by next summer, a special convention might be necessary in the spring.

“We have to be careful,” Delany said. “We have to do the right thing for the college community, but we also have to do the right thing for ourselves.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Bonus Daily Compliance Item 1/16/14- LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

DI Legislative Council approves recruiting, safety proposals


The NCAA Division I Legislative Council on Wednesday reached consensus on some key proposals, from loosening recruiting rules to requiring member schools to designate a team physician and report catastrophic injuries to the Association. But the council members also agreed that some pieces of legislation need more clarity and input from membership.

“We had a healthy discussion, and some points that were raised were valid,” said Mary Mulvenna, chair of the Legislative Council and assistant commissioner for compliance for the America East Conference. “There were several questions raised that will help us get where we need to be.”

The council, meeting as part of the 2014 NCAA Convention in San Diego, agreed to require Division I schools to report annually to the NCAA all fatalities, near-fatalities and catastrophic injuries incurred by student-athletes. Another proposal approved Wednesday, also related to student-athlete health and well-being and put forward by the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, requires member schools to designate a medical doctor or osteopathic physician to serve as team physician for each of their intercollegiate teams.

“When you look at why we’re in this business, it is because of the student-athlete,” Mulvenna said. “So we’re glad to accomplish some things that benefit them.”

The Legislative Council also adopted new rules allowing recruiting communication to start Sept. 1 of a recruit’s junior year, except in basketball, football, men’s ice hockey, swimming and diving, cross country and track and field. Off-campus recruiting dates would not change for any sport. The proposal also eases restrictions on the frequency and forms of communication and allows, for instance, text messaging.

In addition, men’s ice hockey coaches will now be allowed to begin recruiting communication on Jan. 1 of a recruit’s sophomore year and have off-campus contact with a recruit beginning June 15 following completion of their sophomore year.

The Legislative Council also defined what a member school must consider a “countable coach,” a move intended to help ensure fair competition, and approved the women’s triathlon as an emerging sport. The council tabled a proposal requiring all strength and conditioning coaches to be certified through a nationally recognized certification program.

But the panel elected to return a number of other proposals, including some that have received much public attention, to the membership for more input. Those pieces of legislation include:

  • Long-debated legislation that would allow Division I schools to provide more meals to student-athletes. The council considered two different plans: one that would allow institutions to provide unlimited meals to student-athletes, and one that was more restrictive, allowing meals “incidental to participation.”
  • Council members agreed additional time would provide the opportunity to help clarify how to apply the new rules.
  • A proposal that would have reduced the penalty for student-athletes who test positive for using “street drugs.” The legislation would make the penalty for using those drugs lighter than the penalty for performance-enhancing drugs.

The Legislative Council was reluctant to liberalize its stance on “street drugs” or treat them differently than performance-enhancing drugs, even though only the use of the latter typically is considered a form of cheating.

  • The Legislative Council also decided to seek more membership comment about a proposal to require all coaches, including strength and conditioning coaches, to be certified in first aid, CPR and defibrillator use.

The adopted proposals are not considered final until the close of the Division I Board of Directors meeting Saturday.

Daily Compliance Item 1/16/14- 13.14.3- Recruting or Scouting Service

Several coaching staffs at Ocean State University are interested in getting subscriptions to a fairly new scouting service.  All subscribers will receive a standard package of information at an established rate.  Additionally, the organization will offer other information to a select group of coaches through an automated phone line.

Is it permissible for Ocean State University to subscribe to this scouting service?

No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 1/15/14-  Subscription to Recruiting or Scouting Services that Provide Information Beyond Standardized Information Provided to All Subscribers (I) – states that  an institution is not permitted to subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service that provides information in any form (e.g., oral reports, electronic messages, etc.) about prospective student-athletes beyond the standardized, consistent information that is provided to all subscribers of the service.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.14.3 (recruiting or scouting services), 14.13.1 (basketball and football), (video-only services), (sports other than basketball and football) and (subscription limited to approved services – basketball and football); and official interpretations (9/20/13, Item No. 1 and 12/5/13, Item No. 2), which have been archived]

Daily Compliance Item 1/15/14- Student-Athletes Promoting Event

Four men’s basketball student-athletes at Ocean State University created a club card/flyer to promote an after-game party at a night club following the Superbowl in a few weeks.  Student-Athletes are working with an entertainment company and will distribute the flyers on campus the next two weeks.  All four student-athletes provided photos of themselves for use on the flyer to assist with promotions. The student-athletes did not think there actions were in violation of any NCAA Bylaws because one of the student-athletes paid for the creation of the flyer.  Additionally, the student-athletes will not receive any compensation for event.

Is this a violation?  Yes.  NCAA Bylaw states that after becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:

(a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or

(b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.

This is an actual fact pattern of a secondary rules violation posted on LSDBi.

Daily Compliance Item 1/14/14- Initial Eligibility Waivers

Sky Hook is a men’s basketball prospect.  Sky was deemed a non-qualifier out of high school but recieved an initial eligibility waiver to practice, receive athletic aid and compete during his initial year of enrollment at a four-year institution.  For personal reasons, Sky decided to enroll at a two-year college instead.  Now Sky wants to enroll at Ocean State University (OSU) this fall.  True or False, OSU will consider Sky a qualifier for purposes of fulfilling the two-year college transfer requirements for eligibility this fall.

True.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 1/10/14-  Application of Two-Year College Transfer Rules to a Nonqualifier Who Received a Fully Approved Initial-Eligibility Waiver (I) – states that  a nonqualifier who previously received a fully approved initial-eligibility waiver (e.g., obvious waiver, automatic waiver, waiver approved by NCAA staff) to permit athletically related financial aid, practice and competition in the initial year of full-time collegiate enrollment is considered a qualifier for purposes of the application of the two-year college transfer requirements.

[References: NCAA Bylaws (qualifier); (initial-eligibility waivers); (qualifier); (not a qualifier); and 14.5.6 (4-2-4 college transfers)]

Daily Compliance Item 1/13/14- 12.1.2, 16.1.4- Selling Awards

Cover Two is a football student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Cover wants to sell the ring he received for participating in a bowl game last month.  Is it permissible for Cover to sell his ring?

No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 1/10/14-  Student-Athletes Selling Items Received for Participation in Intercollegiate Athletics (I) – states that a student-athlete may not sell, or exchange for another item of value, any item received for athletics participation.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws (advertisements and promotions after becoming a student-athlete); 12.1.2 (amateur status); 16.1.4 (types of awards, awarding agencies, maximum value and numbers of awards); and (general rule)]

NCAA Bylaw 16.1.4 states that athletics awards given to individual student-athletes shall be limited to those approved or administered by the member institution, its conference or an approved agency as specified in the following subsections and shall be limited in value and number as specified in this section.  Awards received for intercollegiate athletics participation may not be sold, exchanged or assigned for another item of value, even if the student-athlete’s name or picture does not appear on the award.  Each of the following subsections is independent of the others so that it is permissible for an individual student-athlete to receive the awards described in all subsections.  [R] (Revised: 9/12/03)