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DIII committee proposes uses for new revenue

The membership dues increase could fund conference grant and LGBTQ initiatives, among others

The Division III membership dues increase that will go into effect this year will generate more than $500,000 of additional income for the division — but how will that money be spent?

During a conference call last week, the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee made initial recommendations for how to use those additional funds.

As part of its recommended 2018-19 strategic plan, the committee has proposed that $242,000 generated by the dues increase be used to fund expansions to conference grant programs, including additional education and enhancements for athletic trainers and officials. More than $100,000 would be used to assist schools that need to purchase electronic medical record software that enables them to participate in the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program. Also, $100,000 has been allocated for new LGBTQ initiatives, and another $100,000 would be used to fund a new professional development program designed to help female and ethnic minority assistant coaches further their careers.

Among several other new expenditures, $35,000 will be allocated to pay for expenses related to the newly created Student-Athlete Advisory Committee “associate member” positions. Members adopted legislation at the 2018 NCAA Convention that enhances the role of student-athlete liaisons to SAAC, including providing funding for them to attend the NCAA Convention.

While the funds generated by the dues increase are being used to fund a litany of initiatives unrelated to championships, roughly $1.5 million in supplemental spending already has been dedicated to championships enhancements, including increased travel party sizes and reimbursement for local ground transportation when a team flies to the competition site. Those expenses are part of the division’s effort to draw down the current surplus in excess of its mandated reserve.

The Division III Management and Presidents Councils will review these recommendations when they convene this summer.

“The committee focused on areas that the membership, Management Council and Presidents Council had identified as priorities,” said Sue Henderson, committee chair and New Jersey City president. “A working group had recently identified a need to be proactive on LGBTQ programs as well as those for women and minority coaches. The committee wanted to allocate funds to implement some of the recommendations, and the dues increase made that possible.”

LGBTQ promotional kit

The Strategic Planning and Finance Committee approved a recommendation from the Division III LGBTQ Working Group to provide one-time funding to create and distribute an LGBTQ identity promotion kit. Recent survey feedback, as well as input from members at the 2018 Convention, indicates that a majority of Division III members would be receptive to displaying LGBTQ-centric banners and other materials on campus.

If approved by the Management and Presidents Councils, the working group will collaborate with a graphic design agency to create a logo for banners and posters that will be distributed to Division III institutions in August. The initiative will come with a one-time $100,000 cost, to be drawn from the division’s surplus in excess of its mandated reserve.

Men’s volleyball bracket expansion

The committee approved a recommendation from the Division III Championships Committee that the men’s volleyball bracket expand from 12 teams to 14 beginning with the 2019 championship. Sport sponsorship data indicate the championship field needs to grow in order to remain on par with the division’s legislated championship access ratio (1 in every 6.5 teams). The expansion will cost $72,000 annually.