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Division I scouting ban upheld

By Michelle Brutlag Hosick

Division I coaches in all sports will be prohibited from live scouting of future opponents, the membership decided in an override vote that concluded Friday with membership upholding the rule as passed by the Division I Board of Directors.

The ban goes effect August 1, 2013.

Of the schools and conferences voting, 55.2 percent (154) voted to override the legislation. A 62.5 percent majority of those voting is required to override legislation.  Only 279 of the 375 eligible Division I schools and conferences voted to support or defeat the override.

The week-long vote was required because 94 schools requested an override of the live-scouting ban after it was adopted by the Board of Directors in January. The Board later declined to reconsider its action, believing that the differing opinions regarding the rule were sufficiently clear that they were best addressed through the override process built into the governance model.

The prohibition on live scouting, originally proposed by the Rules Working Group because of the vast improvements in video technology and the belief that live scouting could have a direct impact on fair competition, generated some concern because coaches in some sports believe they won’t have the same access to quality video.

Other schools said they believe the ban is contrary to the deregulation effort and puts unreasonable limits on college coaches who might want to attend sporting events on their own time. The rule continues to allow coaches to scout upcoming opponents if they are participating in the same tournament or doubleheader event at the same site.

The scouting rule is the only proposal of the 25 adopted by the Board of Directors in January 2013 to come to an override vote. The Board did suspend three recruiting proposals and asked the governance structure to continue to work on the concepts for reconsideration at a later time.