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DII council approves championships budget requests

Council also OKs ground transportation reimbursement for 2016-17 championships’ participation

The Division II Presidents Council on Thursday approved the allocation of nearly $1.3 million starting in 2018-19 to support various enhancements to Division II championships. The allocation will cover 23 budgetary requests, most of which pertain to officiating fee increases and additional participation opportunities for student-athletes.

The council also confirmed that the three Division II schools located in Puerto Rico will receive legislative relief from several membership requirements over the next five years as they work to recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria.

The requests, submitted by Division II sport committees and recommended for approval by the Division II Championships and Planning and Finance committees, will be included in the 2018-21 triennial budget. The changes include moving the baseball championship to a super-regional format, consisting of eight super-region sites before the championship finals (a $269,000 budget impact); expanding the championship bracket in women’s soccer ($221,000); and increasing the squad size and travel party size for the men’s and women’s tennis championships ($210,000). See the complete list here.

“A big part of our commitment is to make certain that we are able to present championship experiences to our students that amount to the experience of a lifetime,” said Glen Jones, Henderson State president and chair of the council. “This particular budget allows us to do that.”

The council also gave the green light for two distributions to Division II members. One stems from the allocation of a 2016-17 budgetary surplus. The presidents determined the division will distribute $3,300 to every Division II school that is active and eligible, and hold $2.8 million for the reserve. The funding will also continue to support priority initiatives in Division II, including the APPLE Training Institute, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Super Region Convention and the new online coaches education program, DII University.

A second distribution will benefit schools that paid for local ground transportation at a 2016-17 championship. The council approved a reimbursement totaling $1.1 million for the applicable schools. The reimbursements will be calculated this way:

  • For team sports, schools will receive $1,100 for each per diem day of the championship.
  • For individual sports, schools will receive $25 per traveler for each per diem day.

The ground transportation payments will be distributed in the coming weeks.

Plan for NCAA Injury Surveillance Program

The council signed off on a communication plan to increase Division II participation in the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program. The plan sets a goal of having at least 30 percent of Division II schools voluntarily submitting data to the program on at least two sports per season by June 2019. About 8 percent of Division II members now submit data. The program is intended to assist the Association in making data-driven decisions around student-athlete health and safety. A Division II task force dedicated to the issue will begin implementing the plan this spring.

Waiver for Puerto Rico schools

The council also confirmed that the three Division II schools located in Puerto Rico will receive legislative relief from several membership requirements over the next five years as they work to recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria. The Division II Membership Committee recommended that waivers be issued to the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon; the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; and the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. The schools will not be required to pay membership dues; fulfill the financial audit reporting requirement; complete the NCAA Division II Institutional Self-Study Guide; meet the minimum financial aid requirements; or meet the minimum sports sponsorship requirements during the five-year relief period. They will be required to provide a progress report at the end of each academic year for review by the Membership Committee.

Voluntold activities

Earlier on Thursday, the council met for a breakfast and round table discussion with the Division II SAAC and Management Council, during which the groups discussed concerns around “voluntold” activities for student-athletes. These types of activities – which athletes are not technically required to participate in but which may come with repercussions if they don’t – have been a growing point of conversation in the division in recent months. In their meeting, the groups reviewed the difference between countable athletically related activities and activities that do not meet those countable requirements, such as study hall, open gym and community engagement events. The Presidents Council will continue to explore the topic this spring.

Management Council appointments

The Presidents Council also ratified the appointment of Courtney Lovely, senior woman administrator at Palm Beach Atlantic, to the Division II Management Council, and the appointment of Eric Schoh, athletics director at Winona State, as the vice chair of the council