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Division I manual reorganization underway

Changes will allow Bylaw 14 to focus specifically on academics


The 2014-15 edition of the Division I Manual will include a significant reorganization of some bylaws, which are intended to improve efficiency and streamline service to the membership.

While the Rules Working Group was still active, members directed the staff to take steps to focus Bylaw 14 on the academics piece of a student-athlete’s eligibility, moving other portions of the bylaw to more relevant places within the rulebook.  The portions identified during the reorganization addressed various eligibility and amateurism issues. 

With the other legislative changes occurring in 2013-14, the work to refocus Bylaw 14 was delayed until the 2014-15 version of the manual. The reorganization also coincides with a new restructuring of the Academic and Membership Affairs staff, which will allow teams of people to focus on specific bylaws.

All printed manuals, e-publications and downloadable pdfs for 2014-15 will contain the editorial changes and will be available sometime before Aug. 1, when the changes will be available in LSDBi. A chart that explains exactly what changed also will be distributed.

Bylaws 12 (amateurism), 14 (eligibility) and 17 (playing and practices seasons) are impacted by the modifications.

The changes include:

  • Moving rules governing seasons of competition, the five-year period of eligibility (“five-year clock”) and delayed enrollment from Bylaw 14.2 to Bylaw 12.8.
  • Changing the title of Bylaw 12 from Amateurism to Amateurism and Athletics Eligibility
  • Moving portions of Bylaw 14.1 to Bylaw 12.7., though sections concerning admissions and the validity of academic credentials remain in Bylaw 14.1
  • Moving 14.8 through 14.11 to 12.9 through 12.11 (rules governing service academies, certification of eligibility, ineligibility and restoration of eligibility).
  • Moving the outside competition portions of 14.6 to become 17.31.
  • Creating a special section, Bylaw 14.6, for graduate student-athlete eligibility.
  • Moving 14.1.9, dealing with a change in eligibility status, to, where progress-toward-degree matters are discussed.

The changes were vetted through the National Association for Athletics Compliance, the Collegiate Commissioners Association Compliance Administrators and an informal group of compliance professionals often consulted on rulebook questions.

Leeland Zeller, associate director of academic and membership affairs, said the clear majority of the groups with whom he consulted supported the changes strongly enough to convince the staff to move forward.

The changes do not require Legislative Council approval, and the staff will have the editorial revisions available sometime in July if members want to more closely examine how rules were carried over into new areas.

For more information, contact Leeland Zeller at or Binh Nguyen at