Daily Compliance Item- 4.28.16- 15.2.8.1.2- 16.5.2- Vacation Period Expenses and Summer School

Several Ocean State University (OSU) track and field student-athletes will likely qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Most of these student-athletes will also be enrolled in summer school while they are participating in this post-season event.

If the student-athletes are receiving athletic aid to attend summer school, is OSU permitted to provide them financial assistance for participating in the NCAA championship?

Yes with conditions. NCAA Staff Interpretation- 5/13/11- Summer Financial Aid and Vacation Period Expenses (I)- states that a student-athlete who is enrolled in an institution’s summer term, and is required to remain on campus for organized practice sessions (e.g., practice in preparation for an NCAA championship), may receive financial aid in accordance with the summer financial-aid legislation and vacation-period expenses, provided the student-athlete does not receive vacation-period expenses, in combination with any room and board financial aid, in excess of the full cost of room and board (as determined for financial aid purposes) during the time in which the student-athlete is required to remain on campus for practice or competition.
[References: NCAA Bylaws 15.2.8.1.2 (enrolled student-athletes), 16.5.2 (vacation-period expenses) and staff interpretation (04/12/1991, Item Ref d), which has been archived]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 4.26.16- 13.7.3- Publicity After Signing NLI

Knuck L. Ball is a prospective student-athlete that signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play baseball at Ocean State University (OSU) next year. Knuck lives near the OSU campus and will attend the home baseball game Saturday night. Since Knuck has signed an NLI, the coaches would like to have Knuck line up with the players during pre-game introductions.

Is this permissible?

No. The restrictions in the legislation regarding a prospect participating in game-day activities still apply to NLI signees. NCAA Educational Column- 4/28/15- Publicity After Prospective Student-Athlete’s Commitment (I)– provides some clarification on publicity issues after a prospect signs an NLI.

NCAA Division I institutions should note that there are no restrictions on publicity related to a prospective student-athlete after he or she has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or after the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission, except as set forth in the presence of media during recruiting contact legislation.
The following questions and answers are designed to assist the Division I membership with the application of legislation related to publicity after commitment.

Question No. 1: After a prospective student-athlete commits to the institution, may the institution provide him a photograph taken during his official visit?

Answer: Yes, the photograph may be provided to the prospective student-athlete either as general correspondence or as an attachment to general correspondence, provided the size of the photograph does not exceed 8 1/2 by 11 inches when opened in full.

Question No. 2: After a prospective student-athlete commits to the institution, may the institution use social media to publicize his visit to campus?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible to publicize the prospect’s visit to campus, as there are no restrictions on publicity related to a prospective student-athlete after he or she commits to the institution.

Question No. 3: After a prospective student-athlete commits to the institution, may the institution show her a personalized audio/video presentation?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible for the institution to arrange personalized audio/video presentations to show a prospective student-athlete; however, such an audio/video presentation may not be provided to the prospective student-athlete unless it satisfies the video/audio materials legislation.

Question No. 4: After a prospective student-athlete commits to the institution, may the institution show a video of the prospective student-athlete on its stadium scoreboard or in the institution’s coach’s office?

Answer: Yes, the institution may produce and arrange personalized audio/video presentations to use in permissible publicity activities, including playing the personalized audio/video for the prospective student-athlete in the coach’s office; however, such an audio/video presentation may not be provided to the prospective student-athlete.

Question No. 5: After a prospective student-athlete commits to the institution, may the institution arrange personalized recruiting aids, other than audio/video scoreboard presentations, and allow the prospective student-athlete to participate in game-day simulations?

Answer: No, the legislation governing miscellaneous personalized recruiting aid and participating in game day simulations during an official or unofficial visit still apply after a prospective student-athlete commits to the institution. For example, it is not permissible to personalize a jersey for a prospective student-athlete or to allow the prospective student-athlete to run onto the field with the team during pregame introductions. [References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.02.12.1 (exception — after commitment), 13.4.1.3 (printed recruiting materials), 13.4.1.7 (video/audio materials), 13.6.7.9 (activities during official visit), 13.7.3 (activities during unofficial visit), 13.10.1 (presence of media during recruiting contact), 13.10.2.1 (comments before commitment), 13.10.2.4 (prospective student-athlete’s visit), 13.10.2.7 (photograph of prospective student-athlete) and 13.10.3 (publicity after commitment), and staff interpretation (/2/2/15, Item No. c)]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 4.25.16- 13.02.7.2- Recruiting Activities and Committed Prospects

The Head Softball Coach at Ocean State University (OSU) want to go watch one of their National Letter of Intent (NLI) signees play tomorrow. Since the prospect they will be watching has already signed an NLI with OSU, does the coach have to count an evaluation day for watching this game?

Yes an evaluation day is used when observing a committed prospect in practice or competition activities. NCAA Educational Column- 4/28/15- Recruiting Activities After a Prospective Student-Athlete Commits to an Institution (I)– helps to clarify issues regarding recruiting activities for those prospects that have committed to institutions.

Date Published: April 28, 2015
Item Ref: 2

Educational Column:

NCAA Division I institutions should note, pursuant to the exception after commitment legislation, after the institution has received an individual’s financial deposit in response to its offer of admission or the individual has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid the individual is no longer subject to the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1; however, the individual remains a prospective student-athlete for purposes of applying the remaining provisions of Bylaw 13 and other bylaws.

The following questions and answers are intended to assist the membership in applying NCAA Division I recruiting legislation after an individual has signed a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or after the institution has received his or her financial deposit in response to its offer of admission (i.e., after the individual’s commitment to the institution).

Football.

Question No. 1: In bowl subdivision football, may a coaching staff member have in-person contact, on or off campus, during the December or January dead period with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution?

Answer: No. During the December or January dead period, it is not permissible to have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the institution. However, it is permissible for the institution to have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has arrived in the locale of the institution for initial full-time enrollment.

Question No. 2: In football, may a coaching staff member have contact with a committed prospective student-athlete while the prospective student-athlete is participating in an all-star contest?

Answer: No. It is not permissible for an institution to make in-person contact, on- or off-campus, with a prospective student-athlete participating in an all-star contest from the time the prospective student-athlete arrives in the locale of the contest until he returns to his home or to his educational institution.

Question No. 3: In bowl subdivision football, during the spring evaluation period, may the head coach visit the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution after he has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution?

Answer: No. It is not permissible for an institution’s head coach, or any coach who has been publicly designated to become the next head coach, to make in-person, off-campus contact with a prospective student-athlete during the April 15 through May 31 evaluation period at any location, even if the prospective student-athlete has signed the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid or the institution has received the prospective student-athlete’s financial deposit in response to its offer of admission.

Question No. 4: May a coaching staff member have contact outside of a contact or evaluation period with a prospective student-athlete, who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution, at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution?

Answer: Any visit to a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution during a contact period counts as a contact for all prospective student-athletes in that sport at that educational institution.

All Sports.

Question No. 1: In sports other than bowl subdivision football, may a coaching staff member have in-person contact, on or off campus, during a dead period with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution?

Answer: Yes. A prospective student-athlete is no longer subject to the application of the dead period legislation after he or she signs an NLI or the institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, or the institution receives a financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission; however, the dead period legislation still applies to all other prospective student-athletes.

Question No. 2: May a coaching staff member have contact outside of a contact or evaluation period (or a recruiting period in men’s basketball) with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coaching staff member’s institution, at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution?

Answer: No. It is not permissible to have contact outside of a contact or evaluation period (or a recruiting period in men’s basketball) with a prospective student-athlete at his or her educational institution, because recruiting rules still apply to all other prospective student-athletes at the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution.

Question No. 3: May a coaching staff member have in-person contact, on- or off-campus, with a nonqualifier who is enrolled in his or her first year of college at a two-year institution after he or she commits to the coaching staff member’s institution?

Answer: Yes; however, it is not permissible to provide such a prospective student-athlete an official visit until he or she has completed an academic year at a two-year college.

Question No. 4: Is an institution required to obtain permission to contact a four-year college prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?

Answer: No. An institution that has received a four-year college prospective student-athlete’s signed acceptance of admission or a financial deposit in response to its offer of admission is not required to obtain written permission from another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution to make contact with the prospective student-athlete; however, the institution is required to obtain written permission from the four-year college prospective student-athlete’s previous institution to provide the student-athlete with athletically related financial assistance during the prospective student-athlete’s first year of full-time enrollment at that institution.

Further, if the four-year college student-athlete is transferring from an NCAA or NAIA member institution, the student-athlete’s previous institution must certify in writing that it has no objection to the student-athlete using the one-time transfer exception.

Question No. 5: Do the restrictions on telephone calls (e.g., one telephone call per week) and electronic correspondence apply to a prospective student-athlete once the individual commits to the coach’s institution?

Answer: No.

Question No. 6: Do the restrictions on the number of contacts apply to a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?

Answer: No.

Question No. 7: Do the restrictions on the number of evaluations apply to a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?

Answer: Although the institution does not use an evaluation for the prospective student-athlete who has committed to the institution, a visit (without contact) to a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution counts as an evaluation for all prospective student-athletes in that sport at that educational institution.
In addition, in team sports, the institution uses an evaluation for all prospective student-athletes participating in the practice or competition in which the committed prospective student-athlete participates. In football, an observation that occurs during a permissible contact period counts only as a contact.

Question No. 8: In sports with evaluation days (i.e., football, softball, women’s volleyball and women’s sand volleyball), does the institution use an evaluation day for observing a prospective student-athlete who has
committed to the coach’s institution?

Answer: If the prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution participates in a team sport that has evaluation days (e.g., football), then an evaluation day is used when the coach engages in an evaluation of the committed prospective student-athlete participating in practice or competition in the team sport.
For example, a committed prospective student-athlete participates in both softball and golf. The institution’s softball coach observes the committed prospective student-athlete participating in a softball tournament. In this scenario, an evaluation day is used.

However, if the institution’s softball coach observes the committed prospective student-athlete participating in golf, an evaluation day is not used.

Question No. 9: Do the restrictions on the number of recruiting opportunities apply to a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?

Answer: No.

Question No. 10: Is a coaching staff member permitted to have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution after the prospective student-athlete has reported on call and before she has been released by the appropriate authority?

Answer: Yes. However, recruiting regulations still apply to all other prospective student-athletes participating in the practice or competition.

Question No. 11: In men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football, is a coaching staff member permitted to visit a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution more than once per week after the prospective student-athlete commits to the coach’s institution?

Answer: No. While a prospective student-athlete is no longer subject to the restrictions of Bylaw 13.1 after commitment, recruiting regulations still apply to all other prospective student-athletes at the prospective student athlete’s educational institution.

Question No. 12: In women’s basketball, during the July evaluation period, may a coaching staff member have communication with a prospective student-athlete who has committed to the coach’s institution?

Answer: Yes. During the July evaluation period in women’s basketball, a coaching staff member may have communication with a prospective student-athlete, her relatives or legal guardians, her coach or any individual associated with her as a result of her participation in basketball, provided she has committed to the coach’s institution. However, because the recruiting regulations still apply to all other prospective student-athletes, it is not permissible for a coaching staff member to have communication with a prospective student-athlete’s coach or any other individual associated with the prospective student-athlete if the individual has not committed to the coach’s institution. [References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 13.02.5.5.2 (exception — after commitment), 13.02.12.1 (exception — after commitment), 13.1.1.2 (two-year college prospective student-athletes), 13.1.1.3 (four-year college prospective student-athletes), 13.1.2.6.3 (spring evaluation period — football bowl subdivision), 13.1.3.1 (time period for telephone calls — general rule), 13.1.3.1.1 (exception — swimming and diving), 13.1.3.1.1 (exception — baseball, cross country/track and field, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, women’s sand volleyball, softball and women’s volleyball), 13.1.3.1.2 (exception — football), 13.1.3.1.3 (exception — men’s basketball), 13.1.3.1.4 (exception — women’s basketball), 13.1.3.1.4.1 (additional restrictions — July evaluation periods), 13.1.3.1.7 (application of telephone call limitations), 13.1.3.2.1 (during conduct of athletics contest), 13.1.4.1 (men’s basketball), 13.1.4.2 (football and women’s basketball), 13.1.4.2.1 (visit during contact period — football), 13.1.4.2.3 (visit during evaluation period — women’s basketball), 13.1.5.1 (sports other than football, basketball and men’s ice hockey), 13.1.5.2 (football), 13.1.5.3 (men’s basketball), 13.1.5.4 (women’s basketball), 13.1.5.4.2 (additional restrictions — July evaluation periods), 13.1.5.5 (men’s ice hockey), 13.1.6.2 (practice or competition site), 13.1.6.2.1 (additional restrictions — basketball), 13.1.6.2.3 (athletics events outside contact period — football and basketball), 13.1.6.3 (all-star contests — football), 13.6.2.3.1 (nonqualifier in first year) and staff interpretations (8/30/13, Item No. b), (12/12/13, Item No. a), (12/12/13, Item No. b), (3/6/14, Item No. b) and (6/12/14, Item No. a)]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 4.22.16- 17.1.7.2.1.5- Male Students Participating in Summer Athletic Activities

Ocean State University women’s basketball program has 4-5 male students that practiced with the team all year. These male students have really helped the team, so the coaches would like the guys to practice with the team this summer as well. Is this permissible?

Yes with conditions. NCAA Interpretation- Staff Interpretation- 4/26/13- Use of Male Students During Women’s Basketball Summer Athletic Activities (I) – states that male students may participate in summer athletic activities with women’s basketball student-athletes, provided they are enrolled in summer school, or meet the academic requirements exception to enrollment, and are not receiving any form of financial assistance from the athletics department (e.g., compensation, financial aid). [References: NCAA Division I Bylaws 14.1.10 (eligibility requirements for male student to practice with women’s teams), 17.1.6.2.1.1.4 (summer athletic activities — basketball) and 17.1.6.2.1.1.4.1 (exception to summer school enrollment — academic requirements — basketball)]

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 4.21.16- 11.7.1.1.2- Temporary Replacement During Olympics

One of the assistant track coaches at Ocean State University (OSU) is going to serve as a coach for the US Track & Field Olympic team. While he is with the Olympic team, is OSU permitted to temporarily replace him and allow a non-coaching staff member to perform his coaching duties?

Yes with conditions. NCAA Bylaw 11.7.1.1.2 states that an institution may replace a coach temporarily or on a limited basis when that coach takes a leave of absence to participate on or to coach a national team or Olympic team, provided the replacement is limited to a one-year period and the coach who is replaced performs no recruiting or other duties on behalf of the institution. (Adopted: 1/14/97 effective 8/1/97, Revised: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02, 1/14/08)

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 4.20.16- Current Event

Can college athletics continue to spend like this?

USAToday.com

Bubble, in a sports context, typically refers to college basketball teams with middling résumés, or perhaps the sort of gum that comes with trading cards. Economist Andrew Zimbalist suggests college sports may be facing a bubble of a different sort, the kind that goes — pop!

Total revenue for the 50 public schools in the Power Five conferences rose by $304 million in 2015, but spending rose by $332 million from the year before, according to a USA TODAY Sports analysis of financial information that schools annually report to the NCAA. At the 178 public schools in Division I conferences outside the Power Five, revenue increased by $199 million, but spending rose by $218 million.Revenues in college sports are rising, and have been for decades, thanks largely to TV rights fees for football and men’s basketball. But expenses are rising even more: Athletics departments typically spend more money than they generate. By the NCAA’s reckoning, fewer than two dozen public schools can cover their annual operating expenses without money from university coffers, government sources or student fees.

(Louisville and Rutgers are removed from the computations because they moved to Power Five conferences during the time frame. The analysis is based on documents acquired in conjunction with the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Grady Sports Media Program at the University of Georgia.)

Zimbalist says this kind of spending is not sustainable, and he thinks litigation of some stripe — courts deciding players can be paid beyond their scholarships, for instance — could cause the bubble to burst. Among the other potential wildcards are an ongoing lawsuit pertaining to athlete compensation limits that seeks hundreds of millions in damages, concussion lawsuits, or a change in the National Labor Relations Board’s position on college athletes unionizing.

“There are big-time things leading it to pop,” says Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College and author of Unpaid Professionals: Commercialization and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. “It’s an unstable situation.”

Jeffrey Orleans, an attorney who specializes in higher education law with a focus on athletics governance and administration, says it’s a bit like the killer asteroid theory: Something could fall from the sky and blow up college sports’ economic model.

“There’s so much out there that it’s hard to feel comfortable,” he says. “On the other hand, it could be like the Cold War. For 50 years we had all kinds of ways the world could have blown to hell, and somehow we survived it.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert says the very fact that so few athletics programs are self-sufficient demonstrates their worth in terms of building community and providing opportunity.

“A very small number of the 1,100 (NCAA members) have a positive cash flow on college sports, so those schools are making a decision that having a successful athletic program is valuable to them despite the fact they have to subsidize it with institutional money,” Emmert says. “The same thing is true for a lot of academic programs. So every school has to sit down and say, ‘What is this worth to us?’ ”

Kansas State president Kirk Schulz, chair of the NCAA board of governors, believes the bubble metaphor is overwrought.

“I’ve heard that now for the last 20 years and I don’t want to be skeptical and say nothing like that could happen that would ever change the direction of intercollegiate sports,” Schulz says. But he compares it to predictions of a bubble in higher education where prospective students would one day decide that degrees for ever-higher tuition just aren’t worth it anymore.

“And guess what? We all have record numbers of people who want to come and pay these tuition rates and get these degrees from our institutions,” Schulz says. “So I’m a little skeptical about the gloom and doom of a bubble that’s going to burst and everything is going to go south.”

Even so, Schulz agrees that athletics departments cannot continue to outspend revenue indefinitely. He blames the building of more and more buildings.

“I worry that we put ourselves in this mode where whatever we have right now is not good enough,” he says. “We’ve always got to build something bigger and better with more school colors and more logos. And I don’t think it is sustainable.”

Schools’ figures for the 2014-15 fiscal year were affected by changes in the methodology they are supposed to follow in compiling certain revenues and expenses for the NCAA. Among the Power Five conferences, the revenue increase was driven in part by an influx of bowl money from the inaugural College Football Playoff and the SEC Network’s debut. The amounts generated by those enterprises are likely to keep rising, but not nearly as sharply as they did in 2015.

Meanwhile, the expanding expense side of the ledger will be under additional pressure from scholarships based on the cost of attendance, which didn’t begin hitting athletics department budgets until the beginning of fiscal 2016.

Still, A.J. Maestas thinks an elite portion of the Power Five schools will continue to do quite well because their revenues have room to rise even more. He is president and founder of Navigate, a firm that measures marketing investments in sports and entertainment.

“If you take a look at affinity, passion, ratings and licensing — all the metrics that would be highly correlated with revenue — and you picture a bar chart that compares the NBA to college basketball and the NFL to college football, the college versions would be below the pro versions, but not by nearly as much as people might think,” Maestas says. “But if you look at revenue, it is radically below.”

Matt Balvanz, Navigate’s vice president of analytics, says the firm is projecting the NCAA’s top 25 athletics programs can expect revenue to grow by 116% in the next 10 years. By contrast, the firm predicts revenue growth of 63% in the NFL and NBA, 55% in the NHL and 48% in Major League Baseball.

But how will TV revenue keep going up in a world where cord-cutters are leaving cable TV and cord-shavers are opting out of high-priced sports channels where they can?

“No matter how tough things are at ESPN right now, nobody ever cuts their way to greatness,” Maestas says. “We see signs that consumers are willing to pay … for premium content, and college football is premium content.”

Neal Pilson is a former president of CBS Sports and founder and president of a consulting company specializing in sports television, media and marketing. He says skeptics “have been predicting a bubble in TV rights” since the mid-1980s — and he should know. He was one of them.

“The (then) president of CBS Sports, to whom you are speaking, predicted rights fees would go down because there just wasn’t enough business to support the rights fees we were paying,” Pilson says. “He was wrong, obviously. Shortly after, he and his network paid $1 billion for the NCAA tournament. And everything has progressed in one direction since then.”

The progression took another leap forward last week, when CBS Sports and Turner paid $8.8 billion for an additional eight years of the tournament, through 2032. “It tells us,” Pilson says, “that the appetite and interest in major sports properties is a fixed part of our TV sports culture.”

Pilson points out many of the conference TV rights packages are wrapped up for years, with a significant exception. The Big Ten Conference’s deals, expiring in 2017 and under negotiation now, are “going to be a bellwether, a gut check,” he says. “If there’s a bubble, we’re going to see it in the negotiations coming up.”

Navigate’s projections of high revenue growth are only for the top 25 programs. What about everybody else, particularly those schools outside the Power Five?

“It’s going to be a challenge, obviously, with costs increasing if you are not in that top tier,” Balvanz says. “It’s going to be really tough to find those trigger points to maximize revenue. It’s going to force them to be more and more creative.”

On a dollar basis, Cincinnati’s athletics program is one of the most heavily subsidized at a Division I public school, receiving nearly $23.2 million from the university in 2015. But it also is being creative in cutting costs. Omar Banks, the department’s chief financial officer, says revenues are expected to decline in future years for complicated reasons having to do with the breakup of the old Big East, UC’s tenure in the American Athletic Conference and how units of revenue from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are being distributed.

Cincinnati has instituted rules banning plane travel for non-conference games, saving “a couple hundred thousand dollars,” and capped per diems at $45, saving upwards of $75,000, he says. The department’s operating expenses rose from $25.2 million in 2005 to $59.5 million in 2013, not adjusting for inflation. Its expenses have decreased since ($55.4 million in 2014 and $51.7 million in 2015).

In 2015, USA TODAY Sports found, there were 21 public-school athletics departments that spent at least $100 million – more than double the number at that level in 2012.

“Those schools, when they amass their surpluses, they’re creating this new demand for high-priced coaches,” says Banks, president of the College Athletics Business Management Association. “They can probably weather the storm much better than we can.”

Cincinnati’s football team has made a bowl game nine times in the past 10 years, its men’s basketball team has played in the past six NCAA tournaments and its women’s soccer team won the 2015 AAC tournament. But Banks says that even with the cost cutting, if it doesn’t increase revenue from ticket sales and annual fundraising, “we could be looking at the percentage of subsidy that we receive becoming much higher.”

Orleans, a consultant to the reform-minded Knight Commission, says that’s precisely the problem: “I think the schools that are relying on all this external revenue are potentially in a fragile place. What I think is getting less attention is all the schools in Divisions II and III and some in Division I that don’t have access to all these huge revenue streams but whose costs are being driven up by the spending habits that trickle down from the top.”

Tom McMillen, executive director of the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association, quibbles with the term bubble but says Zimbalist is right that court cases pose a potential threat, including two in which the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would lift the NCAA’s new, cost-of-attendance-based limits on athlete compensation.

“There are a lot of challenges,” McMillen says. “The millions of dollars that the conferences and the NCAA are spending defending the model are eating away at dollars that could be put to more productive use. (The athlete-compensation litigation) in particular is existential. It blows up the model of college sports. If that would ever happen, there’d be a race to Congress to get some relief.”

Some members of Congress do not look kindly on the NCAA. Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.) is among five members who introduced a bill that would establish a Presidential Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which would be required to review and analyze a variety of issues in college athletics, including its financing. The bill would also require schools to provide four-year scholarships, and offer baseline concussion testing for athletes in contact sports.

“The NCAA is simply incapable of reforming itself,” Dent says. “It’s important for us to have a serious conversation about how all these conferences are going to be able to survive in this new system” where the Power Five have more autonomy.

Over the past 11 years for which USA TODAY Sports has compiled their NCAA financial reports, public schools in Division I have spent $71.3 billion on athletics — roughly the combined GDP of Serbia and Estonia. Add in athletics spending at private schools, which don’t have to release their figures publicly, and that’s probably around $100 billion.

Zimbalist says athletics departments simply can’t keep spending so much. “Politically, it’s not sustainable,” he says. “Legally, it’s not sustainable. Economically, it’s not sustainable.”

Zimbalist says he is working to try to get the American Council on Education, a consortium of presidents, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, a consortium of boards of trustees, to support Dent’s bill. He thinks presidents and boards will need to work collectively if they are to forge real change.

“I think that everybody realizes now” that change is coming, he says. “College presidents know they can’t continue financially” the way things are. “Individual presidents can’t do anything. They’ve tried in the past, and all they’ve ended up doing is getting themselves fired.”

Schulz is leaving Kansas State this year for Washington State, where athletics director Bill Moos sent a letter to donors last month acknowledging a departmental budget deficit of more than $13 million for fiscal 2015. That was its second consecutive shortfall of more than $13 million, and came even with the department receiving $6.1 million in subsidies. Moos’ letter said, “we continue to work extremely hard to maximize our existing revenue stream as well as identifying and securing innovative new ones.”

Schulz says he can’t say much about all that until he gets there and begins working on it. But he believes that college presidents are going to show more restraint on coaches’ salaries in coming years.

“I think many of us have reached the limit on what we can do on football salaries, for example,” he says. “Can a Kansas State pay a football coach $5 million a year? Probably could, but I’m not sure we’re willing to go that far. … Those are the types of constraint that are going to be there. But I see those as more of a gradual set of changes than this overnight, everybody is deciding to do something. I just don’t think that’s realistic.”

This article was selected for educational purposes only.

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.

Daily Compliance Item- 4.19.16- 17.1.8- Makeup Games

The Ocean State University softball team has two non-conference makeup games to play due to the severe weather conditions that occurred earlier this month. The team will be participating in its conference tournament next month, which ends the playing season. Can the softball team play the two makeup games after its playing season is over? No. NCAA Bylaw 17.1.8(a) states that an institution is not permitted to extend the playing season to make up suspended or canceled games (including games that determine a conference champion or the automatic qualifier to the NCAA championship).

Jennifer M. Condaras
Associate Commissioner
BIG EAST Conference

The opinions expressed in the Daily Compliance Item are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by The BIG EAST Conference, JumpForward, or the Collegiate Sports Group of Bond, Schoeneck, and King. The Daily Compliance Item is not a substitute for a compliance office, case specific research, or the NCAA Bylaws. Do some homework, ask around, and get it right.