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DIII Presidents Council supports snacks proposal

Group also weighs in on four other membership-sponsored proposals

The Division III Presidents Council took positions this week on five key membership-sponsored proposals that will be up for vote at the 2020 NCAA Convention.

Notably, after opposing a comparable proposal last year, the Presidents Council, following a recommendation from the Division III Management Council, endorsed a proposal that would permit the provision of snacks and permissible nutritional supplements for student-athletes. The proposal’s sponsors say it is designed to offer schools the flexibility to meet student-athletes’ nutritional needs and to alleviate administrative burdens associated with enforcing current prohibitions.

“The Presidents Council supported the snack proposal because it would help student-athletes obtain the nutrition they need,” said Sue Henderson, Presidents Council chair and New Jersey City president.

The Presidents Council also supported a pair of proposals that would amend the processes on admitting reclassified and provisional members. The first proposal calls for the application process for provisional institutions seeking admission into Division III to be reduced from four years to three years (plus the usual exploratory year). The second seeks to make the same reduction in the timeline for schools seeking to reclassify into Division III from another NCAA division (without the exploratory year).

The Presidents Council opposed a proposal that would allow schools to provide practice expenses in golf and swimming and diving during official vacation periods regardless of location. The Management Council had recommended that the Presidents Council oppose that proposal, noting that the issue would be better addressed via holistic review, rather than on a sport-by-sport basis. 

“The Presidents Council opposed the proposal for two reasons,” Henderson said. “It did not seem that the rationale of providing opportunities for ‘out-of-doors competition’ was particularly relevant for swimming and diving as it might be for golf. Also, the Presidents Council felt that a more thorough review should be done that included all the sports that might fit into this category, and the financial implications should be considered.”

After the Presidents Council’s review, the proposal’s sponsors proposed an amendment that the legislative change would apply only to golf.

Lastly, per a recommendation from the Management Council, the Presidents Council opposed a proposal that would allow student-athletes to voluntarily participate in athletics-related leadership programing outside of their playing season with members of their school’s coaching staff. The proposal offers several caveats designed to limit the nature of the activity, such as prohibiting on-field, court or floor activity, the use of equipment, or discussing offensive or defensive strategy.

Leadership changes

The Presidents Council elected Tori Murden McClure, Spalding president and current Council vice chair, as its new chair. The group selected Fayneese Miller, Hamline president, as vice chair. Both will begin serving in their new roles after the 2020 NCAA Convention.

New Presidents Council appointees

The Presidents Council approved adding four new members: Richanne Mankey, Defiance president; Frank Sanchez, Rhode Island College president; James Schmidt; Wisconsin-Eau Claire president; and Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president. They will begin their terms in January 2020.