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DII stability depends on full-time attention

Division II members will vote in January on a proposal that requires them to staff a full-time athletics director and full-time compliance administrator who do not have any coaching responsibilities

Deborah Chin

Over the past 10 years, NCAA Division II has been a “division destination” for more than 30 colleges and universities seeking membership. One has to wonder what makes it such an NCAA division of choice.

As interest in Division II membership has grown, the Membership Committee developed a plan to address its strategic growth. To encourage long-term stability and viability of the membership, the committee developed standards for applicant institutions – but some of those requirements hold them to a standard higher than some active Division II members.

As a result, the committee saw a need to establish a baseline standard for all Division II institutions, and the committee is sponsoring two proposals for the 2015 NCAA Convention. These would require members to support both a full-time director of athletics and a full-time compliance administrator who do not have any coaching responsibilities. In no way is this proposal an attempt to micromanage the administration or operations of individual departments and effect institutional autonomy.

Based on member input, the committee has adjusted the proposals to provide for a smooth transition by including a grandfather clause for current athletics directors who are coaching and, for the compliance administrator, a delayed implementation plan and a three-year grace period to lessen the budget impact.

The proposals have been vetted through the division’s Athletics Directors Association, the Conference Commissioner’s Association, governance committees and Management and Presidents councils. The intent is to continue to strengthen the division and to serve and support our coaches and student-athletes as they strive for success in the classroom, on the playing fields and in our communities. 

The strength of our division rests with the quality and strength of all Division II institutions, and we must begin to address a baseline standard for all members in order to best serve our student-athletes. I encourage your support of these proposals at the Convention.

Deborah Chin is the associate vice president and director of athletics and recreation at the University of New Haven. She is the chair of the Division II Membership Committee.