By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
The Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet has sponsored amendments to several proposals limiting the number of noncoaching personnel in football and basketball for the Legislative Council to consider in April.
The concepts were sponsored by the cabinet after it studied the issue of noncoaching personnel, and later modified the proposals in response to feedback from the membership and various coaching associations. The latest modifications also come as a result of feedback from the membership.
The modified proposals would:
All proposals would include clerical staff in the definition of “noncoaching personnel” and would exempt full-time graduate and undergraduate assistants. The cabinet decided to include clerical staff and increase the allowable number of positions because of concerns in the membership that clerical staff would be the next position to become bloated.
The proposals exclude individuals who provide indirect support, such as sports information personnel, equipment managers and academic staff with responsibilities for a particular sport.
Current rules do not impose limits on noncoaching positions in either football or basketball, but the cabinet’s study of the issue through membership surveys revealed a general sentiment for at least some restrictions. Last summer, the Knight Commission also called for a reduction in noncoaching personnel, and many in the membership view the issue as one of competitive equity.
Cabinet chair Petrina Long, senior associate athletics director at UCLA, said the group heard from the membership that defining “clerical” was difficult for compliance professionals to do, so including clerical professionals in the limits – while also increasing those limits – was a way to assist those who would have to apply the rules if they are adopted.
“The membership very clearly told us they wanted limits in this area,” Long said. “We’ll see what happens. We wanted the membership to have more opportunities to tackle this issue.”
Long said that if none of the current proposals passes legislative assessment this spring, the cabinet will move on.
“Sometimes, once people see what (legislation) looks like, they realize that they aren’t comfortable moving forward,” she said. “That’s OK.”