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Division II Presidents Council approves reimbursement for transportation at NCAA championships

Council also approves potential legislative concepts for 2017

A number of Division II schools that competed in 2014-15 team sport championships will receive additional financial assistance after a vote Thursday by the Division II Presidents Council.

The presidents approved a recommendation from the Division II Planning and Finance Committee to distribute a portion of the division’s 2014-15 surplus back to athletics programs that flew to Division II team championships sites in order to help cover the costs of local ground transportation in the host city. A total of $525,000 of the division’s $3.3 million surplus from 2014-15 will be divvied up among eligible teams, which will amount to approximately $3,000 per round of the championship tournament in which a team participated.

The reimbursement applies to championships in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, women’s volleyball and rowing.

Currently in team sports, schools that are located within 600 miles of the championship site are required to travel via ground transportation, and the NCAA reimburses the cost of the bus. Schools farther than 600 miles are reimbursed for their flights to and from the championship site, but not for the costs of local transportation – such as bus trips to and from the airport.

“There’s been a call to the Presidents Council that ground transportation is not being covered for championships,” said Steve Scott, the president of Pittsburg State University, vice chair of the Presidents Council and chair of the Planning and Finance Committee. “The membership is saying that’s what they want. We’re certainly hearing that.”

The Division II Championships Committee originally recommended a process for reimbursement of local ground transportation costs whenever the Division II surplus from championships is greater than $1.2 million. In August, the Planning and Finance Committee approved that process. However, when the championships surplus alone last year did not exceed $1.2 million, Division II leaders devised the one-time plan the Presidents Council approved Thursday, which will assist 175 eligible teams with local transportation costs from 2014-15. 

In years when the championships surplus meets the $1.2 million standard, NCAA staff will verify the number of teams eligible for reimbursement and determine each team’s share at the end of the fiscal year.

Potential 2017 proposals

The Presidents Council supported three concepts that were recommended by the Management Council on Wednesday and which could become the first three proposals for the 2017 Convention.

The presidents voted to move forward with concepts that would change the standards for student-athlete hardship waivers and season-of-competition-while-eligible waivers; broaden the circumstances under which a student-athlete can receive donations for outside competition; and provide more flexibility in the nonchampionships segment for teams to travel to or from Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or Canada for competition.

NCAA staff will draft the proposals in legislative form and bring them back to the Management Council and Presidents Council for another review at their spring meetings.

Vice chair election

The council also elected Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University, to serve as its next vice chair. Scott will replace Judy Bense as Presidents Council chair when her term ends.