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Strategic plans for DI, National Collegiate championships revealed

Competition Oversight Committee examines ways to operate events more efficiently

Members of the Division I Competition Oversight Committee on Thursday revealed some preliminary long-term strategic planning for the championships they oversee.

The oversight committee, which presented its ideas during a menu session at the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, oversees all sports in the division except for men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football. The committee is focused on providing a positive championship experience for student-athletes while positioning the championships for long-term viability and growth.

Competition Oversight Committee members are committed to keeping all the Division I and National Collegiate championships, but they also are open to exploring sport sponsorship numbers and the effect they have on championship access.

The committee is keeping an eye on the variances of bracket and field sizes, developing long-range plans for limited budget increases and reviewing championship feedback that will assist in developing priorities for the future.

One area of focus will be to find ways to support championships that have fewer than 50 schools sponsoring the sport nationally. The oversight committee will work closely with those sports committees to maintain sustainability and determine ways to run the championships more efficiently.

The group also is looking at the possibility of increasing the minimum number of teams required for a single sport conference from six to eight. For those not meeting the minimum, a one-year grace period would be allowed to reach compliance.

Some of committee’s plans already were put in place during the fall championships. Family gathering areas were added at the final sites, providing athletes with a place they could spend more time with their loved ones and friends after the event. The championships also rolled out improved award ceremonies and an expansion of webcasting by host sites during preliminary-round competition to enhance the student-athlete experience.

The Competition Oversight Committee will look at ways to support an increase in championship banquet budgets for 2017-18, as well as create a consistent schedule overall for examining budget increases for per diem, officiating, travel and operational costs.

If any legislation is implemented, the goal is to have it placed into the 2017-18 cycle. If approved, it would go into effect by August 2018.