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DIII institutes conference grant change

Committee also weighs in on national SAAC’s Convention request

Division III institutions that share a conference with a school on restricted membership status will no longer receive less conference grant funding than they would if each of the conference’s schools had full status.

In a Monday conference call, the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee approved a proposal from the Division III Membership Committee that calls for conference grant money to be distributed to the conference office, which can then allocate funds to institutions in the conference that are not on restricted membership status. Previously, the presence of an institution on restricted membership status meant that the conference’s allocation was reduced slightly, effectively punishing the entire conference for one school’s transgressions.

The change adheres to current legislation, which prohibits grant funding from being provided directly to an institution on restricted status.

The Strategic Planning and Finance Committee also weighed in on a recommendation from the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee that would have provided funding to send incoming national SAAC members to the annual NCAA Convention. Division III SAAC proposed allocating more funds for newly elected national SAAC members – whose terms start after Convention – to attend and observe meetings so they can acclimate to NCAA policies and procedures more quickly.

Rather than provide more funds, the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee voted that the timeline for national SAAC selection and appointments will be evaluated through the coming year and to encourage conferences that have new national SAAC members to rely on their conference grant money to send them to the Convention before their terms officially begin. The committee plans to revisit the topic next year.

On the conference call, NCAA staff briefed the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee on the division’s budget projections. Though a series of bracket expansions and championships enhancements were adopted earlier this year and will go into effect beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, the division’s annual expenses are not projected to outpace annual revenue until 2020-21.