Daily Compliance Item 2/28/14- Current Event

Administration Cabinet: Rules governing reclassification deserve close look

The four-year process for schools reclassifying as DI doesn’t affect only them; it also impacts their DI opponents

The rules that govern the reclassification process for schools hoping to join Division I might get a fresh look after the division wraps up its restructuring.

The Division I Administration Cabinet, which met Feb. 19-20 in Indianapolis, discussed a number of issues that deal with schools reclassifying from Division II to Division I. That process, as revised in 2010, includes a four-year period in which a school is ineligible for championships and must progress toward meeting all Division I membership requirements.

Since 2012, the Division I Board of Directors has declined to consider new legislation until after the division completes its plans to put in place a new system for setting policy. So while the Administration Cabinet did not take action to sponsor rule changes on the reclassification issues, members  feel these issues should be discussed after a new governance structure is in place.

“We had some really useful discussion on issues connected with reclassifying institutions and made the decision to, perhaps at a future time, see if the membership would like to reconsider some of these issues,” said Connie Hurlbut, deputy commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference and chair of the Administration Cabinet. “None of the items we were looking at could be considered individually; they had to be part of a bigger discussion.”

Some of the issues before the cabinet have caused confusion for opponents of reclassifying schools; others were considered because they touch on the points in the process when reclassifying schools can be considered Division I. Specifically, the cabinet discussed:

Confusion about whether reclassifying schools count as Division I opponents during their first year in the process.

NCAA staff informed the cabinet that the association had issued a blanket waiver for Division I basketball scheduling requirements for the 2013-14 academic year. The waiver permits schools to schedule more than the maximum four basketball contests permitted each season against non-Division I opponents.

The waiver was approved because some Division I members were confused about when reclassifying institutions can count on their game schedules as Division I schools. Currently, reclassifying schools cannot count as Division I opponents until the second year of the process.

The confusion, staff noted, might be exacerbated by a separate policy that allows those reclassifying institutions who are in the first year of the process to be included in the Division I Ratings Percentage Index – the formula used to rank teams based on their record and the strength of their schedules – if they can demonstrate that they expect to meet Division I scheduling requirements.

The Administration Cabinet decided that staff should continue to educate member schools about scheduling requirements.

The fairness of the penalty for failing to meet Division I scheduling requirements.

Currently, schools that schedule too many non-Division I opponents lose a year of championships eligibility. The cabinet reaffirmed its support of the scheduling requirements, but members agreed that the penalty for not meeting the requirement should perhaps be revisited after a new Division I governance structure is in place.

Scheduling requirements for institutions in first year of reclassification.

The cabinet discussed whether the schools should count as Division I opponents in their first year, considering that Division I now requires the schools to join a conference before entering the process. Conferences generally integrate the new member immediately into the conference schedule.

Championships eligibility for reclassifying institutions.

The cabinet also discussed the current rule that prohibits reclassifying schools from competing in Division I championships before they have completed the four-year process.

Currently, a school cannot compete in Division I championships – at any level – until reclassification is complete. The cabinet members reaffirmed their support for the current rule, noting that the rationale for the rule was well-founded but acknowledging that a new governance structure might reconsider issues related to reclassification.

Daily Compliance Item 2/26/14- 11.01.6, Summer Access Activities

The men’s basketball coaches at Ocean State University (OSU) are planning out the summer activities for their student-athletes.  They would like to have their managers help out during the summer as well.  Is it permissible for managers to perform their duties during summer access activities?

Yes with conditions.  NCAA Staff Interpretatio- 7/27/13- Undergraduate Student Assistant Coach or Manager Serving During Required Summer Athletic Activities (I) – states that, in basketball, an undergraduate student assistant coach or manager may fulfill coaching or managerial duties, respectively, during required summer athletic activities, provided he or she was enrolled full time at the conclusion of the regular academic term (e.g., spring semester or quarter) immediately preceding the institution’s summer term or terms or has been accepted for enrollment as a regular full-time student for the regular academic term immediately following the summer term or terms.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 11.01.4 (coach, undergraduate student assistant), 11.01.6 (manager), (after completion of senior year), (two-year college prospective student-athletes), (summer athletic activities — basketball) and (exception to summer school enrollment — academic requirements — basketball)]

Daily Compliance Item 2/25/14- Camp/Clinic Attendance

The Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Ocean State University (OSU) has begun preparations for his summer camps.  Because this was his first year as head coach at OSU, he wants to use a lot of advertising to boost attendance.  Is it permissible for the coach to use multiple forms of advertising?

Yes with restrictions.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 1/15/09- Advertising an Institutional Camp or Clinic (I) – states that  an institution may advertise or promote an institutional camp or clinic in any way, provided any camp or clinic advertisement or promotion (e.g., camp brochure, Web site, newspaper or magazine advertisement) stipulates that the camp or clinic is open to any and all entrants (limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender).

[References: Bylaws (summer-camp advertisements), (attendance restriction) and an official interpretation (10/30/08, Item No. 1), which has been archived)]

NCAA Bylaw states that a member institution’s sports camp or clinic shall be open to any and all entrants (limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender).   (See Bylaw  (Revised: 1/11/89, 1/10/91, 1/11/94, 12/12/06, 9/24/09)

Daily Compliance Item 2/24/14- Conference Tournament Complimentary Admissions

Above Tha Rim is a basketball student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Above’s team will be participating in its conference tournament next week, and he would like to provide tickets to a few of his family members.  How many complimentary admissions may Above provide?


A.  2

B.  4

C.  6

D.  None


The answer is CNCAA Bylaw states that an institution may provide each student-athlete who participates in or is a member of a team participating in a postseason event (e.g., conference championship, NCAA championship, National Invitation Tournament, bowl game) with six complimentary admissions to all intercollegiate athletics events at the site at which the student (or team) participates.  (Adopted: 1/9/96 effective 8/1/96, Revised: 11/1/01 effective 8/1/02, 1/17/09 effective 8/1/09)


Daily Compliance Item 2/20/14- 12.1.2- Pool of Funds

The Ocean State University men’s golf student-athletes have pooled some funds together in hopes of providing an incentive for each of the student-athletes to perform their best during the season.  The student-athletes with the lowest weekly scores will collect the money.

Since the institution is not funding this “pool of funds” is it permissible?

No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 12/12/94-  Student-Athletes Establishing ‘Pool’ of Funds – states that it is not permissible for an institution’s student-athletes to establish a “pool” of funds for the purpose of providing cash on a weekly basis to selected student-athletes based on their athletics performance in specific intercollegiate competitions without jeopardizing the amateur status of the student-athletes who receive such funds.

[References: 12.1.1 (amateur status) and 12.1.2 (forms of pay)]


Daily Compliance Item 2/19/14- Conference Awards

The Ocean State University  men’s basketball team won the Ocean Eleven Conference tournament this year.  The Conference office will be providing each member of the team with a championship gift.  There are three student-athletes on the team that did not attend the tournament because they have been academically ineligible all year.

Can the Conference office provide a gift to these three student-athletes?

No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 12/12/94- National or Conference Championship Awards to Ineligible Student-Athletes– states that it is not permissible for an institution or conference (or organization approved by either) to provide awards in recognition of conference or national championships to student-athletes who were not eligible to represent the institution in intercollegiate competition during the applicable sport season.

[References: (conference and national championships) and staff minute 12/07/88, item c]

Daily Compliance Item 2/18/14- 13.6.3, 13.9.1- Registration with NCAA EC

Every year questions come up as to what constitutes registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center for purposes of providing an official visit or written offer of athletic aid.  Here are a few reminders:

NCAA Educational Column- 2/14/13-Definition of Registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center (I)– states that NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.6.3 and 13.9.1 include a requirement that a high school or preparatory school prospective student-athlete be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and on the institution’s Institutional Request List (IRL) before being provided an official visit or written offer of athletically related financial aid.

A prospective student-athlete is considered to be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center once the individual has successfully completed the online registration process on the NCAA Eligibility Center website, which includes an agreement to the Ethical Conduct statement per NCAA Bylaw 10.1, and has made a successful payment or indicated that he or she is eligible to receive a fee waiver. The prospective student-athlete will receive a payment confirmation email, as well as an email confirming successful registration with his or her 10-digit NCAA ID.

To qualify for a waiver of the NCAA Eligibility Center fee, the prospective student-athlete must already have received a fee waiver from ACT or SAT. If the prospective student-athlete has not been granted a fee waiver by ACT or SAT, he or she is not eligible for a waiver of the registration fee.

Prospective student-athletes who qualify for a fee waiver may be provided an official visit or written offer of athletically related financial aid even if the high school official has not yet attested to the fee waiver. However, the prospective student-athlete must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

To determine whether a prospective student-athlete has successfully registered, please follow these steps:

Log on to the NCAA Eligibility Center’s Member Institution Portal and enter your institution’s login information. Navigate to the IRL tab and then IRL Activation to search for the prospective student-athlete.

If the prospective student-athlete does not appear on the IRL Activation search page, that student has NOT registered and is NOT permitted to take an official visit or be provided a written offer of athletically related financial aid.

If the prospective student-athlete’s name and NCAA ID appear, the student is considered registered, and is eligible to receive an official visit and a written offer of athletically related financial aid.

[References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.6.3 (requirements for official visit) and 13.9.1 (requirements for offer of athletically related financial aid)]

Daily Compliance Item 2/17/14- 16.7- Entertainment on Required Day Off

Classes are not in session today at Ocean State University (OSU) in observance of President’s Day.  The baseball team played a double header yesterday, so the student-athletes were unable to go home for the long weekend.  Today is the baseball team’s once per week required day off.  Is it permissible for OSU to provide the student-ahtletes with some form of reasonable entertainment today?

Yes.  NCAA Bylaw 16.7 states that an institution, conference or the NCAA may provide reasonable entertainment (but may not provide cash for such entertainment) to student-athletes in conjunction with practice or competition. [R] (Revised: 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13)

The 8/2/13 NCAA Working Group on Collegiate Model- Rules Q&A- RWG 16-6- states:

Question:  May entertainment be provided during the required day off during the playing season?

Answer:  Yes.

Daily Compliance Item 2/14/14- Current Event

August possible for new structure


A seven-member steering committee with the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors is working to provide wealthier conferences with “a range” of autonomy — namely the freedom to provide athletes the full cost of scholarships — and hopes to have a new structure in place by August, said the board’s chair, Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch.

“We’re not talking about full autonomy,” Hatch told ESPN.com. “We’re talking about a range of issues.”

Hatch said he is confident change is imminent.

“It definitely will” change, he said. “Membership can vote it down, but this has been a huge process. … The board last fall had a whole day of hearings. We’ve talked to coaches, students, athletic directors, big schools, small schools, the Knight Commission, faculty-athletic representatives, and I think we can craft a compromise that makes the board more nimble, more strategic, in some ways more like a confederation that allows big schools certain ways to expend some of their new revenue on behalf of student-athletes.”

Hatch said another prominent focus has been making athletic directors more directly and heavily involved in the NCAA’s rule-making. Over time, many of those responsibilities have been delegated to university presidents and chancellors. Hatch said that the 18-member board, which meets four times a year, will recommend that it be smaller and more strategic, and that there be a council comprised mainly of athletic directors “that does the nuts and bolts of business in the NCAA.”

“There’s been kind of a retreat of fundamental involvement by the athletic directors, who are the people on our campuses who make all of this work,” Hatch said.

“We’ve been engaged heavily with them in this process and they have been very responsive. To give them a more integral role in NCAA governance is critical.”

“They welcome it,” he said. “We’re doing that very much in dialogue with them.”

Hatch said that under the new structure, the bigger conferences would have more flexibility, but just how much more is what the committee is in the process of determining. They wouldn’t, for example, be allowed to change academic standards, or allow more scholarships for a given sport.

“There’s a range of things that would not be under autonomy,” he said. “Trying to distinguish what is and what isn’t is our current challenge. We hope the board can approve this by the summer.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Daily Compliance Item 2/13/14- Meals on FB Official Visit

Ocean State University (OSU) is hosting a few recruits on official visits this weekend.  One of the recruits is bringing his parents, younger sister and younger brother with him.  The younger brother is in 10th grade but is not being recruited by OSU.  Can OSU provide all of his family members with meals during the official visit?  Would the answer be the same if OSU was recruiting the younger brother?

Yes it is permissible to provide all four of his family members with meals.  The answer would remain the same if OSU was recruiting the younger brother.  Keep in mind that OSU would need to be careful in terms of lodging so that the younger brother did not trigger the official visit legislation.  NCAA Educational Column- 2/12/14-  Football Official Visits — Meals and Lodging of Prospect-Aged Siblings (I) – states that  during an official visit in football, an institution is permitted to provide meals for up to four family members accompanying a prospective student-athlete on an official visit. Further, it is permissible for a prospect-aged sibling of the prospective student-athlete to be among the four family members who receives meals, even if he or she is being recruited by the institution. Provided no recruitment of the prospect-aged sibling occurs during the visit, receiving the meals will not trigger an official visit for the sibling. However, providing lodging for a prospect-aged sibling is subject to a different standard. If a prospect-aged sibling that is being recruited by the institution stays as an additional person in the same room as the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s parents, spouse or legal guardians, then an official visit would trigger for the prospect-aged sibling, regardless of whether any additional costs result from the additional occupant or whether recruitment of the sibling occurs during the visit.

[References: NCAA Bylaws (recruited prospective student-athlete), (meals on official visit), (exception-meals-football) and 13.6.9 (lodging for additional persons), and a staff interpretation (12/5/2013, Item No. b)]

Notice about Educational Columns: Educational columns and hot topics are intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations by providing clarifications, reminders and examples. They are based on legislation and official and staff interpretations applicable at the time of publication. Therefore, educational columns and hot topics are binding to the extent that the legislation and interpretations on which they are based remain applicable. Educational columns are posted on a regular basis to address a variety of issues and hot topics are posted as necessary in order to address timely issues.