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DI Council advances multi-team event proposal

Recommendation from basketball oversight committees moves into 2019-20 legislative cycle

New scheduling options that incorporate multiple-team events could be in place by the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons.

The Division I Council on Wednesday introduced legislation recommended by the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees that would change the way multiple-team events are counted and incorporated into regular-season scheduling. The new multiteam-event legislation would allow Division I schools to schedule up to 28 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to three games; schedule 29 regular-season games and a multiple-team event that includes up to two games; or schedule 29 games without participating in a multiple-team event.

The proposal now will be considered by the NCAA membership, and a formal vote to approve the legislation could be taken by the council during its quarterly meeting in January or April of 2020. If approved, the change would go into effect Aug. 1, 2020, for the 2020-21 basketball season.

Schools that already had signed contracts based on the current legislation would still be allowed to honor those agreements provided they were executed by June 26, 2019.

“I believe this proposal preserves and strengthens the multiple-team event season that is so important and exciting for college basketball teams and fans in November and December,” said Jeffrey Hathaway, special assistant to the president for athletics at Hofstra and chair of the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee. “The oversight committees have done excellent work in reviewing the multiple-team event legislation thoroughly and diligently. We appreciate the engagement and feedback from coaches, administrators and event operators in helping the oversight committees develop a proposal that simplifies, modernizes and provides alternatives for competitive events that can be a season highlight for the student-athlete experience.”

The Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees began reviewing multiple-team events in October 2017 because the legislation was a decade old and primed for a review, as well as to respond to member confusion about the legislated qualification requirements for participating in those events. During the 2018-19 regular season, 92 percent of men’s basketball programs participated in a multiple-team event.

Both committees sent a survey with two concepts to NCAA members in May to gather feedback about a preferred format. Of the two concepts, about two-thirds of conferences supported the concept ultimately proposed by the council. The feedback indicated the selected concept would eliminate the confusion and difficulties in the current scheduling format regarding scheduling a fourth game; provide  for the scheduling of one or two additional games that can be scheduled anytime during the regular season; and allow teams to schedule up to 29 games if they participate in a multiple-team event with only two games.

“This review was an example of collaboration with the membership and the oversight committees and demonstrated a responsiveness to concerns raised by the schools and conferences,” said Lisa Campos, vice president and athletics director at Texas San Antonio and incoming chair of the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee. “We appreciate the willingness of the membership to assist with the review of legislation to ensure it still captures the original intent of the proposal, while attempting to enhance the overall student-athlete experience.”

The new legislation would also require that:

  • The events be sponsored by the NCAA, an active or affiliated member, or a member conference.
  • Three-game multiple-team events may not include more than three games and must conclude no more than 10 days after the first game of the event. Two-game multiple-team events cannot include more than two games and must conclude no more than five days after the first game of the event.
  • Participation is limited to one team per conference, and schools may not participate in the same event more than once in any four-year period.
  • All participating schools must participate in the same number of games in the event.
  • Each school participating in the multiple-team event must use the same maximum contest limit. For example, 28 contests plus one multiple-team event (not to exceed three games); 29 contests plus one multiple-team event (not to exceed two games).
  • Non-Division I schools cannot participate unless they are hosting the event.

The committees also continue to support the development of an MTE certification program. During upcoming meetings, they will discuss the appropriate process, scope and budget impact.