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Division II Presidents Council passes emergency health and safety legislation

This summer, incoming student-athletes must receive a medical exam before beginning voluntary summer workouts

Thomas Haas, chair of the Division II Presidents Council and president of Grand Valley State University, discusses the leadership of the council.

If the vote goes as expected at the Division II business session on Saturday, more student-athletes than ever will have the opportunity to participate in voluntary summer workouts conducted by their school’s strength and conditioning personnel.

And, thanks to emergency legislation the Division II Presidents Council passed on Thursday at the NCAA Convention, those athletes will jumpstart summer conditioning in a healthier, safer way.

The Presidents Council easily approved the legislation, which requires all incoming Division II student-athletes receive a medical evaluation before they can begin summer workouts on campus. Returning student-athletes must have a medical exam or medical history on file.

The Division II Legislation Committee originally recommended the proposal in response to the division’s recent legislative changes regarding voluntary summer workouts. Last year, football players got the green light to participate in voluntary workouts, which can begin on June 1 and extend through summer break. On Saturday in Washington D.C., the membership will decide whether all fall athletes will have the same opportunity.

The changes made the decision easy for every member of the Management Council, which voted to recommend the legislation on Wednesday, as well as for the entire Presidents Council.

Due to its classification as emergency legislation, the new requirements take effect immediately.

 “It’s good that we are going to have this in place in anticipation of what we think will happen on the legislative floor on Saturday,” said Tom Haas, Grand Valley State president and chair of the Presidents Council. “We need to provide this type of service to our students so they start their careers off this summer with the appropriate safety measures.”

Also on Thursday, the Division II Presidents Council:

  • Discussed NCAA recreational drug testing policies and procedures with the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Management Council;
  • Discussed with Management Council several issues surrounding the addition of new members, including: the standards surrounding the reclassification of Division I schools to Division II; for-profit institutions in Division II; external pressures schools face and the ways those issues align with the Division II philosophy;
  • Elected Steve Scott, president of Pittsburg State University, to serve as vice chair of the Presidents Council;
  • Approved the appointment of Kathy Heitzman, associate director of athletics at Bloomsburg University, as vice chair of the Management Council.