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2017 NCAA Convention Legislation: Division I

DI Council, autonomy conferences to vote on time commitment rule changes

Decisions made at the 2017 NCAA Convention could provide student-athletes  more time and ability to pursue additional opportunities in college outside their sport.

Both the Division I Council members and representatives from the schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences will vote on proposals to address the amount of time Division I student-athletes spend on athletics. The committees making these decisions include athletics administrators, faculty members and student-athletes from NCAA member schools.

The Council will vote on rules changes that would make study abroad and internship experiences easier for college athletes and require schools to give written notice to all recruits about the expectations for athletics participation. Additionally, the Council will consider creating a new term, “required athletically related activities,” to provide more clarity about the expectations of athletics participation.

The Council meets Tuesday and Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn..

The five conferences with the autonomy to make rule changes in specific areas will vote on separate proposals Jan. 20 at the NCAA Convention. Representatives from each member school, plus three student-athletes from each conference, will consider rule changes that would:

  • Prohibit athletically related activities during a continuous eight-hour period between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Require a seven-day break after the season and 14 additional days off during the regular academic year when classes are in session. The group will consider two versions of this proposal, one that would prohibit travel days from counting as a day off and another that would allow travel on off days in limited circumstances.
  • Require the creation of a time management plan for each sport and a review of that plan annually.
  • Require a day off per week during preseason and vacation periods
  • Prohibit off-campus practice during vacation periods outside the championship season and unrelated to away-from-home competition.

These proposals are considered the first step toward providing student-athletes with the ability to better balance their athletics participation with interests outside their sport. If adopted by the five autonomy conferences, any Division I school can implement the same provisions at its campus.

DI Issues Forum to review upcoming legislation

The Division I Issues Forum will provide an opportunity for members to hear from the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee about key issues and the impact of its expanded voice in the governance structure. Student-athletes also will report on their work on the time demands issue.

Attendees also will hear from colleagues about legislation to be considered by the Council in April and participate in live polling, which will serve as feedback for the Council and other governance groups.

Members of the Division I Football Oversight Committee will lead a conversation about the proposed changes in that sport, including the early signing period and camps and clinics rule changes. Julie Roe Lach, Horizon League deputy commissioner and chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee Ad Hoc Working Group on Recruiting, will discuss the women’s basketball recruiting proposals. Division I Legislative Committee chair Don Oberhelman, athletics director at California Polytechnic State University, and committee member Brian Shannon, faculty athletics representative at Texas Tech University, will discuss several other proposals.

Governance bodies to meet

In addition to the Council, the Division I Board of Directors and Division I Presidential Forum both will meet at the Convention. The Presidential Forum will continue its work toward defining the ideal state for student-athletes before, during and after their time in college.

The Board of Directors will discuss recommendations from several working groups, including the Division I Sport Organizational Structure Working Group and the Two-Year Governance Structure Review Ad Hoc Working Group.

Division I Convention Legislation
Proposal Source What would it change?

2016-114: More flexibility for study abroad participation

Division I Council (Student-Athlete Experience Committee)

  • Would exempt time spent in an academic study-abroad program from counting against a student’s five-year clock.
  • Would allow schools to replace student-athletes who participate in study abroad programs without exceeding scholarship limits.

2016-115: More flexibility for internships and cooperative educational work experiences

Division I Council (Student-Athlete Experience Committee)

  • Would exempt time spent in internships and co-op work experiences from counting against a student’s five-year clock.
  • Would allow schools to replace student-athletes who participate in internships and co-op work experiences without exceeding scholarship limits.

2016-120: Written notice of time demands

Division I Council (Student-Athlete Experience Committee)

  • Would require schools to provide written information to recruits about the time expectations related to being a student-athlete generally and specific to a sport.

2016-124: Define required athletically related activities

Division I Council (Student-Athlete Experience Committee)

  • Would create a definition of required athletically related activities, intended to work in concert with an autonomy proposal that requires the creation of a time management calendar that explains all participation expectations for Division I student-athletes.

2016-128: Eliminate the limit on athletics department staff members on professional sports counseling panels

Southeastern Conference

  • More than one athletics department representative could serve on a pro sports counseling panel, intended to help student-athletes decide whether to pursue professional sports opportunities.

2016-129: Regulate student-athlete participation in media activities

Pac-12 Conference

  • Prohibit media activities that would cause a student-athlete to miss class, with limited exceptions.

2016-130: Allow schools to award financial aid retroactively, within an academic year

Pac-12 Conference

  • Allow schools to give financial aid retroactively if aid is awarded after the standard period for the award begins.

2016-131: Allow schools to provide meals or cash for meals every day associated with travel for away-from-home competition

Pac-12 Conference

  • Would allow schools to provide additional unlimited meals or per diem associated with away-from-home competition.

2016-132: Add protein as a permissible class of nutritional supplements

Big Ten Conference

  • Would allow schools to provide protein supplements to their student-athletes and better monitor their use.

2016-133: Allow for the provision of reasonable entertainment during the season, outside the season when classes are in session and during required summer activities

Pac-12 Conference

  • Would allow schools to provide reasonable entertainment at additional times of the year.

2016-134: Allow schools to provide expenses related to a student-athlete’s participation in specific national and regional championship events

Southeastern Conference

  • Would ease financial burden on student-athletes participating in elite events.
  • Would allow schools to pay for actual and necessary expenses for participation in specific elite championship events.

2016-135: Prohibit athletically related activities other than competition during a continuous eight-hour window between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences

  • Would allow student-athletes at least eight hours every night free from athletically related activities.
  • Would prohibit schools from scheduling athletically related activities during an eight-hour period after a home contest that concludes after 9 p.m. (with an exception for travel) and upon return to campus from away-from-home competition after 9 p.m.

2016-136: Require additional days off during the academic year

Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences

  • Would prohibit required athletically related activities for seven days at the end of the season and require 14 additional days off during the academic year when classes are in session.

2016-136-1: Require additional days off during the academic year, limited travel exceptions

Southeastern Conference

  • Would prohibit athletically related activities for seven days at the end of the season and require 14 additional days off during the academic year when classes are in session.
  • Would allow travel to campus after away-from-home competition between midnight and 5 a.m. to be considered a day off, provided the school provides a continuous 24-hour period free from required athletically related activity upon release from return travel.

2016-137: Creation of a time management plan

Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences

  • Would require the creation of a time management plan for every sport and require the school’s president to review that plan annually.
  • Would require student-athletes to be provided adequate notice of all countable and required athletically related activities.

2016-138: Day off during the preseason and vacation periods

Pac-12 Conference

  • Would ensure student-athletes receive a day off during preseason practice and during vacation periods.

2016-139: Prohibit off-campus practices unrelated to away-from-home competition during vacation periods outside the championship season

Pac-12 Conference

  • Would allow student-athletes to take advantage of regular vacation periods outside their seasons.