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Strategic-Positioning Outcome Area No. 2

Athletics Operations and Compliance

The Vision:

Provide an athletics operations blueprint for Division II institutions and conferences that emphasizes balance for student-athletes, professional development for coaches and staff, and a commitment to compliance from all involved.

The Goals:

  • Encourage presidents and chancellors to actively engage in the oversight and strategic direction of intercollegiate athletics.
  • Increase athletics administrators’ participation in the governance process at the local, conference and national levels.
  • Enhance conference office involvement in the governance process and in addressing Division II issues.
  • Enhance coaches’ engagement and fortify their role as advocates for the value of Division II athletics.
  • Provide leadership and development opportunities for athletics administrators, coaches and faculty.
  • Develop, enhance and increase educational opportunities and services to support and maintain an effective compliance system.
  • Develop, maintain and share compliance tools to help institutions and conferences fortify their day-to-day compliance operations.
  • Ensure a legislative process that supports effective Division II governance.
  • Deliver health and safety legislation and policies designed to protect student-athlete well-being.

Committees/groups charged with oversight in these areas:

  • Division II Presidents Council
  • Division II Management Council
  • Division II Legislation Committee
  • Division II Academic Requirements Committee
  • Division II Nominating Committee
  • NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports
  • Division II Athletics Directors Association
  • Division II Conference Commissioners Association
  • Conference Commissioners Association Compliance Administrators

Initiatives COMPLETED since the adoption of the plan in April 2015 that support these goals:

Model Communications Toolkit for Athletics Communications Personnel

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Provide leadership and development opportunities for athletics administrators, coaches and faculty.
Brief description of the initiative: This new resource available in print and online helps position athletics communications directors and staff (sports information personnel) as leaders within their campuses and helps them promote Division II to external audiences.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: Division II Management Council (Identity Subcommittee).
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The resource is available both at NCAA.org and at NCAAPublications.com.

Health and Safety Legislation

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Deliver health and safety legislation and policies designed to protect student-athlete well-being.
Brief description of the initiative: The legislation requires any person designated as a school’s strength and conditioning coach to be nationally certified. If a school does not designate a strength and conditioning coach, anyone who conducts strength and conditioning workouts – including assistant or head coaches – would need to be certified.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The legislation was adopted at the 2016 Convention.

Division II Identity Workshop for Coaches

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Enhance coaches’ engagement and fortify their role as advocates for the value of Division II athletics.
Brief description of the initiative: The division provided a two-day professional development workshop for about 70 Division II coaches in June 2016 at the NCAA national office. The interactive sessions updated attendees on the division’s unique attributes, the governance structure and compliance, and ways to promote the division to prospective students and their families.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: Division II Management Council (Identity Subcommittee).
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The initial workshop was so well received that subsequent versions will be provided annually.

Initiatives LAUNCHED and still being implemented since the adoption of the plan:

National Association of Athletics Compliance Education Programming

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Develop, enhance and increase educational opportunities and services to support and maintain an effective compliance system; Develop, maintain and share compliance tools to help institutions and conferences fortify their day-to-day compliance operations.
Brief description of the initiative: The initiative provides Division II schools and conferences with an interactive educational training program to help administrators develop ethical compliance programs.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Legislation Committee and Membership Committee [as recommended and developed by the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) and endorsed by the Division II Athletics Directors Association (D2ADA) and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA).
Status/metrics for success: The initiative was among 10 to receive funding from the Foundation for the Future program. Content is currently being constructed.

Professional Development for Athletics Directors

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Provide leadership and development opportunities for athletics administrators, coaches and faculty.
Brief description of the initiative: This initiative enhances an existing mentoring program that the D2ADA helps administer, targeting aspiring ADs, particularly women and ethnic minorities.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Athletics Directors Association, the Division II Membership Committee and the Division II Nominating Committee.
Status/metrics for success: The initiative was among 10 to receive funding from the Foundation for the Future program. The initiative will begin in the 2016-17 academic year.

Online Coaches Education Program

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Enhance coaches’ engagement and fortify their role as advocates for the value of Division II athletics.
Brief description of the initiative: A comprehensive online coaches education program that will deliver legislative and health and safety related content to NCAA Division II coaches.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: Several governance committees along with NCAA staff.
Status/metrics for success: The initiative was among 10 to receive funding from the Foundation for the Future program. An internal group of NCAA staff liaisons serving the committees submitting this request has met and will continue to meet periodically to advance the initiative. The role of that group includes identifying vendors, an external project manager and subject matter experts to complete the project. That group of liaisons will consult the involved committees and provide progress reports to those groups.

Coaches Connection Expansion

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Enhance coaches’ engagement and fortify their role as advocates for the value of Division II athletics.
Brief description of the initiative: The existing program has created a successful collaboration between coaches and governance in football, women’s volleyball, soccer and tennis; so  much so in fact that the goal is to expand the program to all sports.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: Several governance committees along with NCAA staff.
Status/metrics for success: The initiative was among 10 to receive funding from the Foundation for the Future program. Baseball, track and wrestling are the sports first in line for the immediate future.

Enhanced Outreach to Conferences Regarding Governance Committee Vacancies

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Increase athletics administrators’ participation in the governance process at the local, conference and national levels.
Brief description of the initiative: This new process allows for conferences to provide more input on nominees from their conferences before committee selections. Due to the conference regional rotation required in the committee selection process, conferences are sometimes caught off guard when their “turn” is up for supplying candidates. This gives conferences an opportunity to weigh in on candidates from their leagues in order to help identify qualified nominees who would enhance the composition of a given sport or governance committee.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Nominating Committee.
Status/metrics for success: Commissioners already have responded positively about the opportunity to provide feedback on nominees.

New Committee Member Orientation Resources

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Increase athletics administrators’ participation in the governance process at the local, conference and national levels.
Brief description of the initiative: The national office is engaged in developing a three-pronged process to properly acclimate new committee members to their role within the governance structure. The process includes printed materials and ongoing communication steps between the new committee members and their corresponding staff liaisons to ensure a smooth transition.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The national office staff, in conjunction with the Division II Nominating Committee and Division II Management Council.
Status/metrics for success: The resources should be complete by late spring 2017 for new members beginning their terms in August.

Compliance Mentor Program

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Develop, maintain and share compliance tools to help institutions and conferences fortify their day-to-day compliance operations.
Brief description of the initiative: This initiative pairs veteran compliance with less-experienced personnel at various Division II campuses. Pairings are made for 13 months to ensure a one-year cycle of compliance “seasons” in order to address questions or issues that may arise. Pairings conduct monthly teleconferences and other communication as necessary.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Conference Commissioners Association Compliance Administrators (CCACA).
Status/metrics for success: Since April 2015, there have been 10 mentor/mentee matchups within member institutions and conference offices.

Legislation to Define Academic Misconduct

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Ensure a legislative process that supports effective Division II governance.
Brief description of the initiative: The Division II Academic Requirements Committee recommended legislation to clearly define what constitutes academic misconduct and what penalties are appropriate when an institutional staff member or another adult on campus is involved in a violation. Previously, the regulatory structure for identifying academic misconduct has been defined through the interpretive process rather than legislation. The proposal articulates what actions constitute a violation while giving deference to institutional policy.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Academic Requirements Committee and the Division II Legislation Committee.
Status/metrics for success: Division II will vote on the proposal at the January 2017 Convention. If adopted, the changes will take effect August 1, 2017.

Streamlining Bylaw 15

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Ensure a legislative process that supports effective Division II governance.
Brief description of the initiative: The Division II membership has expressed concern and frustration in recent years regarding the way the bylaw is written and structured. Members believe the rules are being unintentionally misapplied in some cases as a result of the confusion. The Legislation Committee has led a collaborative review effort to ensure that membership feedback guides proposals.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Legislation Committee.
Status/metrics for success: The Division II Presidents Council endorsed three proposals from the Legislation Committee for the membership to vote on at the 2017 Convention. One would eliminate term-by-term financial aid awards and another would permit increases in athletically related financial aid at any time, for any reason. The third would change financial aid legislation so that only institutional athletics aid would count toward individual and team equivalency limits. The model would exempt other forms of institutional aid, such as academic and need-based aid, from individual and team equivalency limits, making it possible for student-athletes to receive more nonathletics financial aid without affecting a team’s scholarship allotment. It is also expected to make financial aid legislation simpler and easier for administrators on campus to apply.

Review of Legislation Regarding the Nonchampionship Segment

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Ensure a legislative process that supports effective Division II governance.
Brief description of the initiative: The Division II Legislation Committee is engaging the membership to determine whether legislation surrounding the nonchampionship segment should be simplified..
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Legislation Committee.
Status/metrics for success: The Presidents Council supported a proposal from the Legislation Committee that the membership will vote on at the 2017 Convention. The revised legislation is expected to clarify policies that have cause confusion among the membership regarding the nonchampionship segment. The proposal consists of the following components: (1) In all sports with a nonchampionship segment, prohibit all countable athletically related activity for two days each week during the nonchampionship segment; (2) In all sports with a nonchampionship segment other than golf, rowing and tennis, limit student-athlete participation in countable athletically related activity to four hours per day and 15 hours per week during a period of 45 consecutive days, with exceptions for school vacations, exams and closures; (3) In golf and tennis, limit student-athlete participation in countable athletically related activity to four hours per day and 20 hours per week during a period of 60 consecutive days, with the above exceptions; and (4) In rowing, limit student-athlete participation in countable athletically related activity to four hours per day and 15 hours per week during a period of 65 consecutive calendar days, with the above exceptions.

EXISTING INITIATIVES implemented before the adoption of the plan that continue to support the goals in SPO No. 2:

Chancellors and Presidents Summits

Division II periodically conducts a Chancellors and Presidents Summit that convenes leaders to discuss and act on pertinent issues. The most recent one was at the 2016 Convention, focusing on health and safety, among other issues.

Chancellors and Presidents Engagement Program

The NCAA also offers the Chancellors and Presidents Engagement Program, which provides campus leaders the opportunity to visit with peers and national office staff about best practices in overseeing athletics. The peer-to-peer approach continues to be well received.

Outreach Academies

Division II conducts annual governance academies in partnership with the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association and the National Association of College Women Athletics Administrators. Participants find these sessions invaluable with regard to being apprised of Division II issues.

Collaboration Opportunities

The Division governance staff meets annually with Division II Conference Commissioners Association and Division II Athletics Directors Association officers to engage about current issues. The national office also helps promote the annul Division II Conference Commissioners Association National Scholar Athlete of the Year Award. Participants find these sessions invaluable with regard to being apprised of Division II issues.

Faculty Athletics Representatives Leadership Institute

Division II conducted its ninth Faculty Athletics Representatives Leadership Institute in October 2016 during which attendees produced a best practices document for FARs to use in helping facilitate student-athlete mental health and well-being.

Educational Programming

Division II launched an Education Resource Center on NCAA.org to help Division II athletics staff and coaches understand how to do their day-to-day jobs more effectively and efficiently. Division II offers a menu of educational sessions at the annual Regional Rules Seminars. The Educational Resource Center has improved and increased membership use of the Division II portion of NCAA.org.

Compliance Programming

Division II offers the Legislative Services Database and the Compliance Assistance program to its member institutions. The national office staff also has enhanced the compliance resource page on NCAA.org. Both of these programs continue to be extremely popular.