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Family travel program could become permanent under proposal

DI Council introduced legislation that would allow the NCAA to continue to pay for family travel to the Men’s and Women’s Final Fours

The Division I membership will consider making permanent a pilot program that allows the NCAA to pay for family travel expenses to the Men’s and Women’s Final Fours.

The Council introduced a legislative proposal that would codify the program that began with the 2015 Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. The proposal will be considered over the next year.

Under the pilot program, the NCAA pays up to $3,000 total in travel, hotel and meal expenses for family members of each student-athlete on teams that compete in the Final Four semifinal games but don’t advance to the championships. The NCAA pays up to $4,000 in expenses for each student-athlete on teams that compete in the men’s and women’s basketball championship games.

Schools decide how and when to distribute funds to family members but make sure the funds are used as intended. The allowance is meant to cover transportation, hotel and meals for two family members per student-athlete. There are no requirements on how far a family must travel to receive the allowance.

The College Football Playoff pays for families of participating student-athletes to travel to their events. NCAA rules allow for an outside entity (the CFP) to provide those expenses.

The Council also introduced legislation intended to improve the efficiency of the legislative process. The proposal would require conferences to submit legislative concepts by July 15, with final proposals due to the national office by Nov. 1.

This process, which is similar to the autonomy process, would allow for committees to review concepts, identify areas of possible collaboration and potentially reduce the number of proposals Division I considers each year. It also allows more feedback opportunities from the membership, like the Council legislative process.

Additionally, the Council introduced legislation that would require Division I schools to complete an equity, diversity and inclusion review once every five years. Documentation that the review has been completed must be submitted to the NCAA, and the actual review must be kept on file with the school. Schools in Divisions II and III already have a similar requirement through their required self-studies.

This proposal is the result of a recommendation from the NCAA Gender Equity Task Force.

Men’s basketball working groups update

The NCAA’s eight working groups examining recommendations from the independent Commission on College Basketball provided the Council with initial status updates. The groups are at various early stages in developing concepts, which will be made available to members for feedback through their Council representative in early to mid-July.

The Council will finalize proposals and present legislation to the NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors for approval at their joint meeting Aug. 8.