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Reform Efforts

College athletics is challenged by growing pressures coming from many directions — that’s why strengthening integrity in this vital part of higher education is more important than ever.

The current reform movement seeks to address areas that are serious threats to the integrity of college athletics and is committed to the success of student-athletes on the playing field, in the classroom and in life after college.

Working groups were created after the August 2011 Presidential Retreat to find real solutions for improving student-athlete well-being; simplifying NCAA rules; ensuring accountability; and emphasizing fiscal sustainability in Division I. The NCAA member schools and national office are committed to the academic success of student-athletes because we agree that graduating from college is just as important as winning a championship.

Indeed, we believe that everyone plays an important role in improving college athletics. That’s why coaches, student-athletes, faculty athletics representatives, athletics directors, compliance professionals, and presidents and chancellors make up the working groups of the reform movement. We want to hear the best ideas from everyone involved in college athletics. Reform represents a new way of thinking for many; campus leaders will be expected to act proactively. Change is never easy, but the simple truth is that these steps are necessary to protect the integrity of college athletics and the future success of our student-athletes.

 

Status Reports

Through the presidentially led working groups, the membership proposed scores of reforms to improve student-athlete well-being, enhance academic requirements, address accountability issues and tackle resource concerns. Most changes suggested through this process were adopted by the Division I Board of Directors and remain in place today. These charts provide detail on the status of reforms proposed in five different areas:

Click to download these reports as a PDF

 

Academics Reform

Adopted In Progress Rejected

CHANGE

STATUS

IMPACT

Postseason Eligibility

Multi-year 930 team APR

Adopted August 2011.
Penalties effective for post-season competition in 2014-15.
Requires teams participating in postseason to earn multi-year APR of at least 930, predicting an approximate Graduation Success Rate of 50 percent.

Initial Eligibility

High school core GPA of 2.3 to compete in first year

Adopted October 2011.
Effective August 2016.
Prepares student-athletes for collegiate academic work.

Initial Eligibility

Ten core courses required before start of high school senior year: seven in math, English and science

Adopted October 2011.
Effective date August 2016.
Ensures prospective student-athletes make academic progress in high school.

Initial Eligibility

More rigorous sliding scale index of test scores and GPA

Board decided current sliding scale is sufficient at this time. Prepares student-athletes for collegiate academic work.

Initial Eligibility

Change to GPA calculation

Adopted May 2013. Ensures prospective student-athletes’ high school records reflect their full academic performance.

Two-Year Transfers

Minimum 2.5 transferable GPA

Adopted October 2011. Prepares student-athletes for four-year college academic work.

Two-Year Transfers

Limit transferable physical education credits to two for all sports

Adopted October 2011. Prepares student-athletes for four-year college academic work.

Two-Year Transfers

Required curriculum for nonqualifiers

Adopted October 2011. Prepares student-athletes for four-year college academic work.

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Enforcement Reform

Adopted In Progress Rejected

CHANGE

STATUS

IMPACT

Four-level violation structure

Adopted October 2012. Focuses on conduct breaches that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA constitution.

Enhanced leadership accountability and consequences

Adopted October 2012.

Fosters a culture of responsibility, upholding the values of intercollegiate athletics.

Increased membership of Committee on Infractions

Adopted October 2012. Allows cases to be heard more quickly and efficiently with less burden on individual committee members.

New penalty structure considering aggravating and mitigating circumstances

Adopted October 2012. Creates consistent penalties focusing on the severity of the violation and addressing advantages gained as a result of rule-breaking.

New definitions of institutional integrity, shared responsibility and institutional control

Under review by membership. Produces clearly stated expectations for all entities involved in Division I athletics.

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Resource Allocation Reform

Adopted In Progress Rejected

CHANGE

STATUS

IMPACT

Limit non-coaching staff

Tabled January 2012.
Rule defining coaching roles adopted January 2014.
Allocates resources to more directly benefit student-athletes.

Freeze number of contests in all sports

Adopted January 2012. Provides student-athletes more time to focus on academic work.

Eliminate foreign tours

Defeated January 2012. Allocates resources to more directly benefit student-athletes.

Reduce number of football scholarships

Defeated January 2012. Allocates resources to more directly benefit student-athletes.

Reduce number of women's basketball scholarships

Defeated January 2012. Allocates resources to more directly benefit student-athletes.

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Rules Reform

Adopted In Progress Rejected

CHANGE

STATUS

IMPACT

Sets commitments guiding operating bylaws

Adopted January 2013. Assists in defining the nature and purposes of Division I and lays foundation for values-based rules, shifting from competitive equity to fair competition.

Eliminates rules defining recruiting roles

Adopted January 2013.
Suspended March 2013.
Permits athletic department staff to recruit in ways previously reserved for coaches.

Prohibits live scouting of opponents except in limited circumstances

Adopted January 2013.
Membership upheld rule in June 2013 override vote.
Simplifies scouting rules.

Eliminates restrictions on number of coaches permitted to recruit off-campus at once

Adopted January 2013. Permits schools to oversee off-campus recruiting.

Defines actual and necessary expenses uniformly

Adopted January 2013. Creates consistent definition for actual and necessary expenses.

Calculates expenses for calendar-year total rather than by event

Adopted January 2013. More equitable approach allows greater flexibility without jeopardizing the collegiate model.

Permits prospects or student-athletes to receive no more than $300 in expenses from a permissible source

Adopted January 2013. Makes amateurism certification more efficient without jeopardizing the collegiate model.

Permits student-athletes to receive competition-related expenses from qualified sponsors

Adopted January 2013. Allows student-athletes to seek additional support without jeopardizing the collegiate model.

Permits non-tennis student-athletes to receive competition-related expenses based on performance from an amateur team or sponsor

Adopted January 2013. Streamlines payment based on performance without jeopardizing the collegiate model.

Permits prospects and student-athletes to receive training expenses from a government entity

Adopted January 2013. Reduces bureaucracy and supports student-athletes without jeopardizing the collegiate model.

Permits schools to treat prospects like student-athletes under recruiting rules once certain written commitments are made

Adopted January 2013. Permits open communication with student-athletes once they have committed. Promotes stronger relationships between coaches and student-athletes.

Permits earlier contact with prospects

Adopted January 2014 in sports that requested a change. Allows coaches to form earlier relationships with student-athletes to emphasize education.

Eliminates restrictions on numbers and modes of communication with prospects

Adopted January 2014 in sports that requested a change. Allows schools to set policies and procedures. Updates cumbersome and unenforceable rules.

Eliminates requirement that NCAA provide some written information to recruits

Adopted January 2013. NCAA Eligibility Center provides this information to prospects.

Recruiting materials restrictions

Recruiting materials limited to general correspondence, restrictions lifted, January 2014. Eliminates burdensome requirements forcing schools to closely monitor recruiting material.

Eliminates restrictions on publicity once a prospect has signed a National Letter of Intent or written offer of admission or financial aid

Adopted January 2013. Publicity restrictions after a formal commitment are inconsequential.

Deregulates camp and clinic employment rules for prospects and student-athletes

Adopted January 2013. Allows student-athletes and prospects to work at camps and clinics for compensation.

Eliminates redundant academic regulations directly supported by a school's academic policy

Adopted January 2013. Reduces inconsequential and redundant legislation.

Permits schools, conferences or the NCAA to give an award to a student-athlete any time after initial full-time enrollment

Adopted January 2013. Allows greater discretion when providing awards to student-athletes.

Permits schools, conferences, and other groups to pay travel expenses for a student-athlete to receive a non-institutional award

Adopted January 2013. Allows greater flexibility to provide student-athletes with expenses to receive recognition as a result of their accomplishments. Enhances the student-athlete experience.

Permits schools, conferences or the NCAA to pay for academic support, career counseling or personal development

Adopted January 2013. Provides academic and personal development resources which directly benefit student-athletes.

Permits schools, conferences or the NCAA to pay a student-athlete's medical expenses

Adopted January 2013. Supports student-athlete well-being by allowing schools to pay for medical and related costs.

Defines “family member” and permits specific benefits to a student-athlete's spouse, parents, family members or children

Adopted January 2013. Acknowledges the changing nature of families. Directly benefits student-athletes with nontraditional families.

Permits schools to offer reasonable entertainment with competition or practice

Adopted January 2013. Allows schools to entertain and provide team building to student-athletes at home as well as on the road.

Permits schools to pay expenses for student-athletes representing the school in practice, competition and noncompetitive events

Adopted January 2013. Enhances student-athlete experience and well-being by allowing schools discretion in providing expenses for student-athletes.

Permits schools to pay expenses and reasonable benefits to student-athletes for national team tryouts, practices and competitions

Adopted January 2013. Enhances student-athlete experience by allowing schools to pay for student-athletes to try out and train for Olympic and other national teams.

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Student-Athlete Well-Being Reform

Adopted In Progress Rejected

CHANGE

STATUS

IMPACT

Miscellaneous expense allowance

Could be considered in a new governance structure. Schools may assist student-athletes whose needs exceed the parameters of their scholarships. Addresses concerns that schools don't provide enough assistance for student-athletes.

Multiyear grants-in-aid

Adopted October 2011. Membership override unsuccessful. Student-athletes may receive multiyear financial aid.

Exempt nonathletic aid

Could be revisited after governance review and possible restructure. Student-athletes may accept increased financial aid without affecting team limits.

Eliminate former student-athlete aid restrictions

Adopted October 2011. Schools may pay for former student-athletes to return and earn a degree.

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