During its July 21-22 meeting in Indianapolis, the Division II Management Council supported splitting into two pieces a proposal requiring schools to employ a full-time athletics director and a full-time compliance administrator who have no coaching duties. If the Presidents Council approves the recommendation in August, the membership will vote on each issue separately at the Convention in January.
Two weeks ago, the Division II Membership Committee discussed feedback received regarding the proposal and recommended that the Management Council and Presidents Council amend the potential legislation.
The council agreed with the Membership Committee’s recommendation that the athletics director legislation should take effect in 2015, with the addition of a much-discussed grandfathering clause that would enable athletics directors who currently have coaching duties to continue in their dual roles until they leave the school. However, for the compliance administrator proposal — which does not have a grandfather clause — the Management Council recommended a 2018 effective date in order to provide sufficient time to budget, hire and make other preparations. After that date, any school that does not comply would be put on probation.
The proposed legislation is intended to create consistency across the membership, as schools entering the membership process are already required to employ full-time athletics directors and compliance administrators without coaching responsibilities. It also is expected to reduce conflicts of interest in athletics departments.
A small portion of the division would be impacted by the potential changes (about 12 percent of Division II athletics directors and 5 percent of compliance administrators also serve as coaches, according to a 2013 Division II membership census). But the topic has generated widespread conversation and passionate responses across the membership. In particular, the grandfather clause for athletics directors has demanded thorough consideration, with the Division II Athletics Directors Association voicing support of the clause. Other members have expressed concern that the clause would simply be a loophole for individuals who do not want to stop coaching, prolonging the risk of conflicts of interest.
“We listened to membership and we adjusted,” Management Council Chair Karen Stromme said. “We came to a very reasonable compromise without losing the purpose of the legislation.”