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DIII Management Council sets table for coming year

Members weigh in on recommendations related to sports wagering, financial aid

In addition to reviewing legislation up for vote at Saturday’s Division III business session, the Division III Management Council took a handful of actions during its Wednesday meeting at the 2017 NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee:

  • The Division III Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee recommended the Management Council approve a legislative proposal that would eliminate the automatic one-year loss of eligibility student-athletes receive for sports wagering violations, and would permit the committee to deliver sanctions on a case-by-case basis as it does with other violations. The Management Council, however, referred the proposal back to the committee, asking that the committee consider establishing an appeals process or formulate suggested guidelines it would use to evaluate sports wagering violations and detail the corresponding sanctions. The Management Council did not feel comfortable lifting the automatic yearlong ban without knowing what sanctions or waiver guidelines would take its place. 
  • “We asked the committee to do more work on this proposal in an effort to provide more clarity,” said outgoing Management Council chair Tracey Ranieri, athletics director at the State University of New York at Oneonta. “We appreciate the spirit of the recommendation, but need to see more specifics before taking a position.”
  • The Management Council discussed lingering concerns, which were raised by the Division III Financial Aid Committee, regarding rules pertinent to financial aid from outside sources. A 2017 Convention proposal that would allow students to receive outside aid that considers athletics, provided the award isn’t tied to a student-athlete attending a certain institution, will address some of these concerns, and both the Financial Aid Committee and Management Council support the proposal. Still, both bodies feel additional steps may be needed to further alleviate the administrative burden on financial aid staffs tasked with verifying that minimal financial awards comply with NCAA rules. Management Council members urged the Financial Aid Committee to engage in further discussions on the topic and, potentially, return with another recommendation or approach later this year. 
  • The Management Council approved waiver guidelines recommended by the Management Council’s Subcommittee for Legislative Relief pertinent to transgender student-athletes transitioning from male to female. The waiver allows them to practice with their team during the year of ineligibility that is triggered by their transition without losing a season of competition if: They can provide medical documentation confirming they are in their first year of testosterone suppression treatment or are within a year of surgical intervention; the institution certifies it has received that documentation; and the student-athlete is otherwise eligible for practice. The change is effective immediately.
  • The Management Council approved a recommendation from the NCAA Research Committee that NCAA staff gauge the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s interest in forming student-athlete research panels to enable better access to data and the opinions of student-athletes in real time. Staff will hold initial discussions with SAAC members in the spring. Similar recommendations exist in Divisions I and II.
  • A handful of Management Council members took part in their last meeting Wednesday. Those departing include:
  • Frank Millerick, Becker College athletics director.
  • Chris Ragsdale, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference commissioner.
  • Tracey Ranieri, State University of New York at Oneonta athletics director.
  • Terry Small, New Jersey Athletic Conference commissioner.
  • Julie Soriero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology athletics director.
  • Taryn Stromback former student-athlete and graduate of Ohio Northern University.
  • Terry Wansart, Hunter College athletics director.
  • Greg Woods, former student-athlete and graduate of Springfield College.