You are here

DII Championships Committee recommends budget reallocations

Changes aim to increase championship participation, improve student-athlete experience.

The Division II Championships Committee is recommending changes aimed at enhancing participant opportunities and the overall championships experience for the division’s student-athletes.

The committee last week recommended the allocation of more than $800,000 of the division’s championships budget to fulfill 17 requests from governing sports committees. The committee also recommended a policy change that would require individuals and teams who are advancing to championship competition and are located within 600 miles of the championship site to travel via ground transportation, an increase from the current limit of 500 miles.

The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by the Division II Management Council and Presidents Council in October. After hearing feedback from the councils, the Championships Committee will have the opportunity to finalize their budget recommendations for review by the Division II Planning and Finance Committee in December. Final action must be taken by the Management Council and Presidents Council in January and the Planning and Finance Committee in December. Approved budget requests will take effect Sept. 1, 2015.

The 11 members of the committee, comprised mostly of athletics administrators and conference office staff, spent the bulk of their three-day meeting in Indianapolis reviewing budget requests, crunching numbers and devising a plan for divvying up the division’s available championships dollars, which were significantly higher this year than most.

These available funds emerged from three areas:

  • Each triennial budget year, the Planning and Finance Committee allocates $100,000 to the championships budget.
  • On top of that, a recent rightsizing of the championships budget revealed an additional $372,500 that could be reallocated to other areas.
  • The committee’s recommendation to increase the mileage limit for ground travel from 500 to 600 miles would save an additional $341,000, if approved. The group’s budgetary allocations were made with that savings in mind.

Fran Reidy, athletics director at Saint Leo University and chair of the Championships Committee, explained student-athlete wellbeing and greater opportunities to compete in championships were the committee’s top considerations when budgeting. The committee approved championship bracket expansions (for baseball, football, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer) and squad size increases (in men’s and women’s basketball, football and women’s volleyball).

The Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s representative Roberto Baroniel, a member of the Nova Southeastern University baseball team, shared the perspectives from SAAC’s summer meeting, where the student-athlete committee supported traveling farther by bus as a cost savings so more student-athletes could participate in the postseason.  “Championships are a highlight of our experience here,” Baroniel said. “If we’re going to be traveling longer distances, we want student-athletes to be getting something out of it.”

In order to afford the costs of increased student-athlete participation, the committee voted to deny reimbursing local transportation costs that would soften the financial impact of championship travel on schools. The committee noted the importance of membership transportation costs and forwarded a recommendation to the Planning and Finance Committee. The recommendation asks it to consider utilizing any surplus of more than $1.2 million in the championships budget annually to be allocated back to institutions competing in championships to help offset transportation costs.

“The championships committee debated and questioned the data, and looked at it from every possible angle,” Reidy said. “A continued focus of the committee is to try to get more student-athletes access to these great championships. I think we were able to do that.”

The Division II Championships Committee recommended the following budgetary requests:

Sport

Request

Budget impact

All Division II championships

Regional team trophies for championship sites that currently do not provide them

$32,600

 

Baseball

Bracket expansion to 56 teams, with a reduction in travel party (from 30 to 29):

$215,000

 

Baseball

Regional umpire evaluators

$4,800

Men’s basketball

Championships squad size increase (14 to 15)

$591

Women’s basketball

Championships squad size increase (14 to 15)

$591

Football

Championship squad size increase (54 to 58)

$844

Football

Bracket expansion to 28 teams

$292,000

Women’s golf

Increase field size of super regionals to 66 qualifiers

$48,000

Women’s golf

Stipend for super regional head rules officials

$1,600

Women’s lacrosse

Bracket expansion to 12 teams and extension of the championship by one day to allow for a day off between games

$95,000

Women’s rowing

Increase of championship officials

$792

Men’s soccer

Bracket expansion to 38 teams

$83,000

Softball

Format change of finals to double-elimination series

$6,070

Men’s and women’s tennis

Format change for start date

$2,000

Men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field

Addition of Eagle Eye video review system

$23,515

Women’s volleyball

Championships squad size increase (15 to 17)

$1,350

Women’s volleyball

Increase in officials fee

$900

 

The following requests were not recommended for inclusion in the budget:

Sport

Request

Budget impact

All Division II championships

Local transportation costs (team sports only)

$340,000

All Division II championships

Local transportation costs (individual-team sports only)

$100,000-400,000

All Division II championships

Participant by proximity to host

$70,000

All Division II championships

Charter costs

$10,000

Men’s basketball

Courtside monitors

$8,000

Women’s basketball

Courtside monitors

$8,000

Women’s golf

Increase field size at final championship site to 96 qualifiers

$52,000

Women’s soccer

Format change in preliminary round

$4,300

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving

Field size cap limit adjustment for male swimmers

$39,000

Men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field

Travel party increase for non-student-athletes

$318,000

Wrestling

Increase in championship qualifiers

$73,268