Change in store for DI regulatory culture
The Rules Working Group will forward 27 proposals to the Division I Board of Directors for consideration at the Board’s Oct. 30 meeting that are expected to begin a transition to a new regulatory culture in Division I.
The package is the result of a year-long effort from the Rules Working Group to write rules that are enforceable, meaningful, and that contribute to student-athlete success. It includes proposals that deregulate recruiting and loosen restrictions on student-athlete awards and benefits (see accompanying list of proposals).
“The decisions we’ve made will support the broader collegiate model for all the members in Division I, regardless of mission or natural advantages,” said Clemson President James Barker, chair of the working group. “What we’ve also done here will reduce the administrative burden on campuses and will reduce a number of the waivers. Most of all, these recommendations will provide some additional benefits to help prospects and enrolled student-athletes be successful.”
Beginning in August, the working group began collecting feedback from the membership on 31 proposals. The group reviewed feedback from governance bodies and the membership at large and refined several proposals, chose between options and eliminated one proposal.
Feedback collection will continue over the next several months, including an extensive review by the Legislative Council in October. The working group will meet again in December to review feedback and make any final modifications before the Board meets in January. The presidents on the Board are expected to review all of the proposals for possible adoption at that time.
The working group also discussed a plan for the next stage of its work, which will include a review of rules related to financial aid and playing and practice seasons. That effort includes a survey later this month seeking membership input. The group also plans to examine additional, more complex concepts that would provide some deregulation in the areas of personnel, amateurism, recruiting, eligibility, and awards and benefits.
Some of the more complex concepts to be reviewed in this phase are:
- Coaching categories and noncoaching personnel
- Agents and advisors
- Promotional activities
- Recruiting calendars/models for all sports
- Academic misconduct/fraud
- Transfer requirements
- Progress-toward-degree requirement modifications
- Meals for student-athletes
- Number of contests/length of season in each sport
The group anticipates seeking feedback on these concepts beginning in February, though some outreach will begin earlier. Some concepts could be shaped into proposal form and be ready for Board review and adoption as early as the spring or summer of 2013. Other concepts, the group acknowledged, are more long-term, and discussions could stretch over a longer period.
“We want to strike a balance between taking advantage of the momentum that came out of the presidential retreat last August and having a thoughtful discussion within the membership,” Barker said. “Hopefully, through this process, we can be authentic, transparent and responsive.”
The working group will meet Dec. 17-18 to conduct a final review of membership feedback before finalizing the proposals to be sent to the Board.
The Rules Working Group will recommend the Board adopt the following proposals in January:
- 2-1, which establishes the commitments that guide the underlying operating bylaws. This includes a commitment to fair competition, which “acknowledges that variability will exist among members in advantages, including facilities, geographic location and resources and that such variability should not be justification for future legislation.”
- 11-2, which would eliminate the rules defining recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach.
- 11-3, formerly 11-3-B, which would prohibit the live scouting of future opponents except in limited circumstances.
- 11-4, which would remove limits on the number of coaches who can recruit off-campus at any one time, the so-called “baton rule.”
- 12-1, which would establish a uniform definition of actual and necessary expenses.
- 12-2, which would allow the calculation of actual and necessary expenses to be based on the total over a calendar year instead of an event-by-event basis. The working group recommended the calculation change for both prospective and enrolled student-athletes.
- 12-3, which would allow a student-athlete to receive $300 more than actual and necessary expenses, provided the expenses come from an otherwise permissible source.
- 12-4, which would permit individuals to receive actual and necessary competition-related expenses from outside sponsors, so long as the person isn’t an agent or representative of a professional sports organization.
- 12-5, which would allow student-athletes in sports other than tennis to receive up to actual and necessary competition-related expenses from an amateur team or event sponsor.
- 12-6, which would allow student-athletes and prospects to receive actual and necessary expenses for training, coaching, health insurance, etc. from a governmental entity.
- 13-1, which will allow schools to treat prospects like student-athletes once a National Letter of Intent or signed offer of admission or financial aid is received.
- 13-2, which will allow off-campus contact with recruits beginning the first day of junior year in high school and communication with recruits on or after July 1 after the completion of the recruit’s sophomore year in high school.
- 13-3, which would eliminate restrictions on methods and modes of communication beginning July 1 following the completion of a recruit’s sophomore year in high school.
- 13-4, which would eliminate the requirement that institutions provide materials such as the banned-drug list and Academic Progress Rate data to recruits.
- 13-5, formerly 13-5-B, which would prohibit the distribution of all written recruiting materials beyond general correspondence.
- 13-6, which would eliminate restrictions on general advertising and promotions designed to get prospective student-athletes to enroll. Personalized promotions would still be prohibited.
- 13-7, which would eliminate restrictions on publicity once a prospective student-athlete has signed a National Letter of Intent or written offer of financial aid or admission.
- 13-8, which would deregulate camps and clinics employment rules related to both recruits and current student-athletes. Senior football prospects would be allowed to participate in camps and clinics.
- 14-1, which eliminates academic regulations that are covered elsewhere.
- 16-1, which would allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA national office to provide an award to student-athletes any time after initial full-time enrollment.
- 16-2, which would allow conferences, an institution, the US Olympic Committee, a national governing body or the awarding agency to provide actual and necessary expenses for a student-athlete to receive a non-institutional award or recognition for athletics or academic accomplishments. Expenses could also be provided for parents/legal guardians, a spouse or other relatives as well.
- 16-3, which would allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA to pay for academic support, career counseling or personal development services that support the success of the student-athlete.
- 16-4, which would allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA to pay for medical and related expenses for a student-athlete.
- 16-5, which would change all references to a student-athlete’s spouse, parents, family members or children to “relative or individual of a comparable relationship.”
- 16-6, which would allow institutions to provide entertainment in conjunction with competition or practice.
- 16-7, which would allow schools to provide actual and necessary expenses to student-athletes representing the institution in practice and competition as well as in noncompetitive events like goodwill tours and media appearances.
- 16-8, which would allow student-athletes to receive actual and necessary expenses and “reasonable benefits” associated with a national team practice and competition. The proposal would also allow institutions to pay for any number of national team tryouts and championship events.
The working group did not support Proposal 11-1, which would have deregulated contractual agreements and compensation provided by outside sources, most often received by coaches. The proposal would also have required institutions to create their own policies regarding outside compensation. Group members were concerned about the possibility of a wide disparity between institutional policies, allowing some coaches more latitude while others are constrained considerably.