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DIII Management Council supports proposed golf amendment

Legislation around concussion reporting also adopted

At its meeting Wednesday at the 2020 NCAA Convention in Anaheim, California, the Division III Management Council voted to support a proposed amendment allowing an institution to provide practice expenses for golf during an official vacation period regardless of location.

The latest proposal eliminated swimming and diving from the original amendment proposed in October. The Division III Presidents Council will consider the new recommendation regarding golf practice expenses at its meeting Thursday. Then, the proposal will be voted on at Saturday’s Division III Business Session.

“We recognize that practicing golf has specific challenges related to weather. For these student-athletes, practicing indoors doesn’t necessarily translate to success in competition,” said Stevie Baker-Watson, chair of the Management Council and DePauw associate vice president for campus wellness and athletics director. “We agree with the sponsors’ rationale that this proposal will allow golf student-athletes to practice in conditions consistent with the competition and remove constraints under the current bylaws.”

The Management Council also voted to take no position on a resolution that asks the Division III Softball and Baseball Committees to work together on a plan to address concerns about timing of those sports’ championship tournaments. The council noted that relevant governance committees are considering related changes to championship timing, and any plan should account for additional factors such as budgetary impact. The council agreed to explain the status of the issue during the Division III Business Session on Saturday.

Concussion reporting

The Management Council adopted legislation to require schools to report annually all sport-related concussions in student-athletes, including the resolution of those concussions.

The Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports will develop and maintain policies and procedures for the reporting. The legislation will be effective for concussions diagnosed May 18, 2020, and later. The adoption of the legislation was consistent with the November communication sent by the NCAA Sport Science Institute titled, “Important implications for institutions: concussion-related policies and procedures.”

Name, image and likeness discussion

The council also discussed potential changes to name, image and likeness rules within the division. The dialogue around name, image and likeness considerations will continue throughout the week across the division and will be a main topic of conversation Friday at the Division III Issues Forum. The council will receive feedback through early summer as various divisional committees consider potential legislative changes, including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Interpretations and Legislation Committee. The review process is being coordinated by a select Oversight Group, with recommendations ultimately to be considered by the Management Council and Presidents Council this summer and the Division III membership no later than the 2021 Convention.

Division III diversity

An update on the latest diversity trends in Division III was shared, which reflected an increase from 22% to 26% in student-athletes of color over the past five years. The Management Council discussed the division’s various programs to enhance diversity, including the Student Immersion Program, which provides funding for ethnic minority students with a strong interest in a career in Division III athletics coaching and/or administration to attend the NCAA Convention. This is the fifth year of the program, which has involved approximately 200 students.

Final meeting for four Management Council members

This meeting was the last for Baker-Watson and three other Management Council members whose terms have expired:

  • Brad Bankston, Old Dominion Athletic Conference commissioner.
  • Sammy Kastner, Notre Dame (Maryland) former field hockey and softball student-athlete (Kastner is leaving the Management Council to serve on the Board of Governors Student-Athlete Engagement Committee.)
  • Kate Roy, North Atlantic Conference associate commissioner.