Summer Daily Compliance Item- 5.29.15- 15.02.5- SAF to Cover COA Expenses

Ocean State University (OSU) administrators are finalizing the scholarship budget for next year.  They have committed to providing COA to a few of the teams, and have revised their financial aid agreements accordingly.  However, they do not have the budget to pay this increase in expenses.  OSU’s conference office, Ocean’s Eleven, has indicated it is okay per conference policy to use Student Assistant Fund (SAF) dollars to cover the COA expenses.  Is this permissible per NCAA legislation?  Do the SAF expenses covering COA have to be considered countable aid?
Yes it is permissible within NCAA legislation and yes those dollars would be considered countable aid.  The Autonomy Legislation Q&A Document (updated 5/22/15) provides further clarification on this matter.
Question #9:
Question:  If a financial aid agreement specifies that it will provide “other expenses related to attendance”, can the SAF be used to provide those expenses?
Answer: It is permissible to use SAF to provide other expenses related to attendance at the institution when those expenses are included in a financial aid agreement, provided the SAF funds used in such a manner are counted toward the student’s individual and team financial aid limits. Institutions remain responsible for ensuring that SAF funds, including those disbursed under these circumstances, are not used to provide tuition and fees, room and board or required course-related books during a regular term and are not included when reporting athletics aid for revenue distribution or other NCAA Bylaw 20 purposes. Finally, for purposes of NCAA financial aid legislation it remains permissible, subject to institutional and conference policies and procedures, to use SAF for other expenses related to attendance at the institution that are not included in the student’s financial aid agreement without affecting the student’s individual or team financial aid limits.
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Summer Daily Compliance Item- 5.26.15- 16.8.1.1- Incidental Expenses When Hosting NCAA Champ Event

PLEASE NOTE:  This week begins the summer DCI schedule, so over the next couple of months there will only be one or two items a week or when timely information presents itself.  Daily service will resume in August.  Have a great summer!!!
The Ocean State University (OSU) Baseball team is hosting an NCAA Regional this weekend.  Because the team is playing at home, are the OSU student-athletes permitted to receive the $30/day incidental expenses?
 
Yes.  NCAA Staff Interpretation- 5/22/15- 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 $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 $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 Division I Bylaw 16.8.1.1 (incidental expenses at NCAA championships, National Governing Body championships in emerging sports and postseason bowl games); and an official interpretation (08/2/00, item 1) which has been archived]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.22.15- Current Event

If athletes ruled employees, Notre Dame will seek new sports model, AD says

USAToday.com
WASHINGTON — Notre Dame’s athletic director and Northwestern’s president emeritus said Tuesday that if college athletes ultimately are ruled to be employees of their respective schools, they foresee their universities withdrawing from the current setup of big-time sports.
Their comments come as the full National Labor Relations Board continues to deliberate about an effort to unionize scholarship football players at Northwestern. In addition, there are a range of pending federal court cases concerning athlete compensation, including one alleging that the NCAA and schools are violating the wage-and-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by not allowing athletes to be paid at least the federal minimum wage.
“Notre Dame’s just not prepared to participate in any model where the athlete isn’t a student first and foremost — that’s the hallmark for us,” Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told USA TODAY Sports after a Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meeting here during which he appeared as a panelist. “If the entire model were to move toward athletes as employees, we’d head in a different direction. Our president has been clear about that. I’m not articulating a unique position.”

“If tomorrow you waved a magic wand and all football players and basketball players were unionized, and privates were paying them, that’s not where the universities would be — or should be, in my mind,” he said.
This is “not hooked to the NLRB case, per se,” he said. “That’s the opening salvo. But there’s a lot of other things floating around. … If we wound up with a business where you wound up paying the players to play, I think alumni would have a different view (of college sports). I think the faculty would be unaccepting of it, at least at universities like Northwestern and Stanford and maybe Notre Dame, Rice, Duke. … We haven’t gotten there by a long shot. Will we? I don’t know. I hope not.”
Swarbrick’s and Bienen’s comments parallel those Stanford AD Bernard Muir made to USA TODAY Sports last May after appearing before a Congressional hearing on the Northwestern unionization effort. “If (Stanford’s athletes) are deemed employees, we will opt for a different model,” Muir said at the time.

NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr ruled in March 2014 that Northwestern’s scholarship football players are employees of the university, and he ordered a player vote on whether to form a union. The NLRB subsequently granted a request by the university for a full-board review of Ohr’s decision, but players cast ballots in April 2014 on whether to unionize. Because of Northwestern’s challenge, the ballots were impounded by the NLRB and presumably have not been counted.
Even if the full NLRB upholds Ohr’s ruling, there likely would be many steps before a final resolution.
Because of that, Southern Methodist President Gerald Turner — a Knight Commission co-chair — said his school has made no determination of the course it would take if athletes are found to be employees.
“It’s too quick to say whether we wouldn’t play anymore or anything like that,” he said, adding that his school also would have to weigh the implications of Texas being a right-to-work state. “That would only occur after a very long review of the implications in both directions. … I think (if athletes were deemed employees), you would see the private schools in (the) FBS would be having a meeting together pretty quickly to try to talk through what the implications of it would be. But we are optimistic that we won’t have to do that.”
This article was selected for educational purposes only.
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.21.15- 16.1.4.4- Community Awards

The local Lions Club wants to recognize the Ocean State University Men’s and Women’s Tennis  Teams for their community service efforts this year.  These Orcas put in over 600 hours collectively this year to help keep the city parks clean.  Is it permissible for the Lions Club to provide the student-athletes with a small plaque?
 
Yes with conditions.  NCAA Bylaw 16.1.4.4 states that a local civic organization (e.g., Rotary Club, Touchdown Club) may provide awards to a member institution’s team(s), provided such awards are approved by the institution and are counted in the institution’s limit for institutional awards.
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.20.15- 17.02.18- Voluntary Consultation with Coach

Base Line is a tennis student-athlete at Ocean State University.  Base had a bit of a rough season with his serve and wants to make sure he is doing the right things over the summer to improve his game.  Base asks the coach if he can set up a meeting with him one day this summer to discuss ways he can get better.
 
Is this permissible?
 
Yes with conditions.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 11/7/91-  Individual consultation with a coach initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete – states that  individual consultation with a coaching staff member initiated voluntarily by a student-athlete is not a countable athletically related activity, provided any discussion between the coach and the student-athlete is limited to general counseling activities and does not involve activities set forth in 17.02.12.1 (e.g., chalk talk; use of equipment relating to the sport; field, floor or on-court activity).
  [References: 17.02.1.2-(j) (noncountable athletically related activities); 17.02.12.1 (activities considered as practice)]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.19.15- 15.2.8, 15.3.2.2- Summer Aid Agreement

Ocean State University is providing several student-athletes with athletic aid to attend summer school.  Is the institution required to provide these student-athletes with a written grant-in-aid agreement noting the amount, etc.?
 
No.  NCAA Official Interpretation- 7/30/12-  Notification of Summer Financial Aid Award (I) – states that  an institution that is providing a financial aid award to a student-athlete for attendance at the institution’s summer session is not required to provide the recipient with a written statement of the amount, duration, conditions or terms of the award.
  [References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 15.2.8 (summer financial aid) and 15.3.2.3 (written statement requirement); a staff interpretation (5/31/12, Item c) and an official interpretation (10/14/92, Item No. 5-c-(4)) which have been archived]
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

Daily Compliance Item- 5.15.15- Current Event

UAB President will announce decision on football program on June 1

USAToday.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — UAB will announce its decision on whether to restart the football program on June 1.
University President Ray Watts disclosed that date Wednesday in an email to students, faculty and staff.
UAB is expected to receive a report from College Sports Solutions on Friday. The company is evaluating the findings cited in Watts’ December decision to cut football, rifle and bowling.
The initial study by CarrSports Consulting calculated that it would cost UAB $49 million over five years to field a competitive football program.
A task force commissioned by UAB selected College Sports Solutions after the university fired its first choice.
Watts says university officials “will consider the report’s findings, along with other important, valuable and mission-critical data” to determine the program’s fate.
This article was selected for educational purposes only.
Jennifer M. Condaras 
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference