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DII Management Council supports transfer proposal

Health and safety survey and 3 other Convention proposals also receive backing

One month after Division I adopted a new rule that gives more control to student-athletes looking to transfer, support is growing for a similar change in Division II.

The Division II Management Council this week voted to recommend the Presidents Council sponsor a proposal for the 2019 Convention that would replace the Division II permission-to-contact legislation for four-year student-athletes with a notification-of-transfer model. Like the new Division I system, the proposed model in Division II would require schools to submit a student-athlete’s written request for transfer in a new national portal, after which time coaches at other schools would be permitted to contact the student. The student-athlete’s current school would be required to submit the request in the portal within seven calendar days of receipt.

Under the new proposal, a school would not be able to prevent a transfer student-athlete from receiving an athletics scholarship at a new school by refusing to grant permission to contact. To address roster and budget concerns, schools may reduce or cancel athletics aid for the following term or academic year when a student-athlete provides a notification of transfer. Schools also still could deny use of the one-time transfer exception, preventing the student-athlete from competing immediately at the new school and requiring the individual to sit a year in residence.

If sponsored by the Presidents Council and adopted in January, the legislation would take effect for student-athletes transferring for the 2019-20 academic year.

“This is going to help our student-athletes throughout the transfer process,” said Pennie Parker, athletics director at Rollins and chair of the Division II Management Council. “The information that will be contained in the transfer portal will also be helpful for our compliance administrators. After seeing a demonstration of the portal, Management Council understands the benefits for Division II.”

The council also supported a proposal from the Division II Injury Surveillance Program Task Force that would require schools to complete a student-athlete health and safety survey on an annual basis. As Division II seeks to gather more data related to student-athlete health and safety, the survey would be a useful tool in making decisions around sports medicine staffing, operating budgets and overall standards of care. The information gathered would be made available to members via the Institutional Performance Program.

Parker noted that while the survey may be lengthy, the potential benefits it would yield for student-athletes and administrators make it necessary. 

Three other legislative proposals received the Management Council’s support and will advance to the Presidents Council for formal sponsorship:

  • A proposal that would provide greater opportunity for international students who participated in organized competition while on active duty in their country’s military. Under the proposed legislation, the student-athletes would not be charged a season of competition for their athletic participation while serving. Participation in the United States and Canadian armed services already is exempt in the legislation.
  • A proposal to replace the annual coaches certification test with required completion of modules in the new online coaches education program, Division II University.
  • A proposal to clarify pre-enrollment academic misconduct activities for prospective student-athletes.

The council is recommending that the Presidents Council withdraw sponsorship of another proposal that would allow student-athletes to receive donations from institutional staff members for participation as a member of an outside team, such as an amateur sports team competing in another country over the summer. The fact that institutional staff members would include athletics staff proved to be a sticking point for the council. Several council members expressed concern about providing coaches the opportunity to donate to their players, saying it could be abused as a recruiting tool. The council ultimately voted to refer the proposal back to the Division II Legislation Committee to further analyze the inclusion of athletics staff.

Management Council/SAAC Summit

Before the Management Council meeting July 16-17, council members participated over the weekend in the annual summit with the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The event provides an opportunity each year for the two groups to discuss key issues in Division II. This year’s event included discussions about the 2019 Convention proposals, Division II University and the division’s partnerships with Make-A-Wish and Team IMPACT, as well as a professional development session on leadership and lunch with local Make-A-Wish and Team IMPACT families.