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DII looks to 2014

By David Pickle

The 2014 NCAA Convention will be one to remember for Division II – and not just because it will be in sunny San Diego.

Not in recent memory have so many issues appeared to be converging on a single Division II event.

Leading the agenda will be the President Council’s examination of Division II academic eligibility issues. Preliminary concepts were explored during the recently concluded Convention regarding initial eligibility, progress-toward-degree and two-year-college transfer standards. In general, there appeared to be widespread consensus for the initial-eligibility concepts. More study might be required with progress-toward-degree and transfer standards.

“Certainly the academic requirements are at the forefront of the presidents interest and agenda, and we’ve got to work through some issues on that that were raised at the presidential summit,” said incoming chair Bob Boerigter, commissioner of the Mid-America Athletic Association. “So that will stimulate some significant discussion.”

Other significant issues will be recommendations from the Membership Committee to require institutions to be in full compliance with division rules earlier in the membership process, a health and safety package from the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and new championship selection criteria.

“The selection criteria and the educational program that goes along with that is of interest to absolutely every institution and it’s of interest to every coach,” Boerigter said. “And so that is probably going to be front and center in terms of the rank and file.”

Division II also probably will revisit Proposal No. 2013-7 next year. That proposal, which was defeated Saturday, would deregulate campus visits. Members appeared to support the proposal in general but resisted elimination of the 48-hour limit on campus visits.

O’Brien also said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Presidents Council sponsor legislation to create levels of enforcement cases similar to those recently approved in Division I.