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DIII Management Council recommends 2019 legislation

Proposal calls for relaxed rules regarding financial awards to prospective student-athletes

Rules related to awards for educational expenses that prospective Division III student-athletes can receive may soon be relaxed.

The Division III Management Council voted to sponsor legislation for the 2019 NCAA Convention that would permit prospective student-athletes to receive awards covering educational expenses to help fund their secondary education.

At a meeting Wednesday at the 2018 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, the Division III Management Council voted to sponsor legislation for the 2019 NCAA Convention that would permit prospective student-athletes to receive awards covering educational expenses to help fund their secondary education, such as grants or scholarships for prep or private school when athletics participation is considered as part of the award.

The funds could come from any source other than an agent, professional sports organization or a representative of an institution’s athletics interests, and must be distributed directly through the recipient’s secondary school.

“Allowing prospective student-athletes to further their education was really at the heart of the decision,” said Shantey Hill, Management Council vice chair and St. Joseph’s (Long Island) senior director of athletics.

The recommendation originated with the Division III Interpretations and Legislation Committee. If adopted by members at the 2019 NCAA Convention, the rule change would take effect Aug. 1 of that year.

Graduation rate reporting discussed

The Division III Diversity and Inclusion Working Group asked the Management Council for feedback on mandatory graduation rate reporting as a potential legislative concept. At the behest of the Division III Presidents Council, the working group is crafting a potential proposal for the 2019 NCAA Convention.

The working group believes mandatory reporting would yield data that could help Division III develop evidence-based policies, enhance the Institutional Performance Program and enable Division III to better articulate the strong academic standing of its student-athletes.

The Management Council supported the concept in general terms, though some members raised questions about the potential administrative burdens for member schools. The working group will use that feedback to refine a proposal that the Management Council will review this spring.

New guidance for coaches

Per a recommendation from the Interpretations and Legislation Committee, the Management Council approved an interpretation that clarifies that a coach may not be involved in any capacity outside the declared playing and practice season with an institutional club or non-NCAA-sponsored varsity team in any sport, if that team includes a student-athlete from that coach’s sport. This would preclude coaches from spending extra time instructing or training their student-athletes.

Tennis format change approved

The Management Council approved a format change that would add a day off between the team and individual singles/doubles competitions for both the men’s and women’s tennis championships. A day off would provide recovery time for student-athletes participating in both competitions, allowing them to compete at a high level in the latter event. It also would provide the host and staff additional time to prepare for the second event. The additional day carries an estimated $5,000 cost increase. The change would be effective for the 2019 championship.

Ice hockey pilot to launch

The Management Council approved a pilot program that would alleviate the burden for evaluating eligibility for first-year international ice hockey players from schools. In the pilot, the NCAA Eligibility Center will conduct the participation history review. The pilot will apply to men’s and women’s ice hockey for the 2018-19 season, and the NCAA will cover the $135 cost of each review, estimated to carry a roughly $10,000 cost over the course of the one-year pilot. After the pilot year, Management Council and other Division III committees will review the results and decide whether it should continue or, perhaps, even expand to other sports.

Management Council members bid farewell

Wednesday marked the final meeting for six longstanding members of the Management Council. The departing members include: Brit Katz, Millsaps vice president and dean of student life and outgoing Management Council chair; Nnenna Akotaobi, Swarthmore associate athletics director and senior woman administrator; Dennis Leighton, University of New England associate provost; Megan Warren, Defiance former student-athlete; Gerald Young, Carleton director of athletics; and Troy VanAken, Elmhurst president.