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Special One-Time Division I Distribution Q&A

Revised: September 15, 2017

1. Who approved this $200 million one-time Division I distribution?

Answer: The Board of Governors (formerly the Executive Committee) approved the distribution, as well as the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. A working group of Division I presidents developed guidelines for appropriate use of the funds.

2. How is the $200 million distribution being funded?

Answer: The $200 million is being funded from a liquidation of NCAA Quasi-Endowment.

3. What is the rationale for allocating the $200 million across the Division I membership?

Answer: For the direct benefit of the student-athlete and their academic success, life skills, career success, health and safety and student-athlete focused diversity and inclusion initiatives. Schools have discretion in using funds among these areas.

4. Is the fund for student-athletes only?

Answer: The distribution is intended to help Division I schools provide greater support to student-athletes. However, as student-athletes are included as eligible recipients of a given service or benefit, enhancements to programs that benefit the entire student body are acceptable (e.g., academic advisory services).

5. Can I spend the dollars as soon as they are received?

Answer: Prior to spending the distribution, each member school must submit a plan for the intended use to the national office. The plan must be submitted within three months of receiving the funds. The plan document will be reviewed by the national office. Once schools receive approval from the national office, the funds may be spent. Please note additional detail may be requested prior to approval.

6. Is there a required plan document format or template?

Answer: Yes, the national office will provide a template at the time of distribution.

7. Can we invest the dollars until our plan is approved?

Answer: Dollars may be invested in a vehicle that provides interest while preserving the principal of the distribution until the plan is approved. (Note: If the school elects to establish a quasi-endowment with the distribution proceeds, this caveat will not apply after approval is received from the national office on the school’s spending plan.)

8. Will schools be required to report on the expenditures for these funds?

Answer: No. However, all schools are subject to a random audit by the national office internal audit department. Therefore, all expenditures should be accurately accounted and align with a school’s approved plan. In addition, if an institution elects to modify its approved plan, spending should be within one of the pre-approved uses noted in the “Suggested Potential Uses” below.  While a change in the spending plan will not require additional approval from the NCAA national office staff, the institution should document the who, what, why, when and how the plan was modified.  National office finance and accounting staff is available for interpretations of new spending.

9. Will the NCAA have another distribution of this type in the future?

Answer: No. We encourage schools not to budget this money as you do your normal NCAA distributions. This disbursement should be treated as one-time cash that has a finite life.

10. Will schools that do not offer athletic scholarships (i.e. Ivy League, military academies) be eligible for the distribution?

Answer: Yes, member schools that do not offer athletics scholarships (including the Ivy League members and military academies) will receive the average amount distributed to Football Championship Subdivision schools.

11. Can all or a portion of the funds be placed into an endowment?

Answer: Yes, however the funds related to this distribution must remain identifiable and a spending policy must be in place documenting the spending rate, calculation of funds available for use in operations, and the party responsible for approving/changing policy. Additionally, all draws from the endowment must be spent on approved uses based on the guidelines below.

12. How do we indicate that the funds will be placed into an endowment within the spending plan questionnaire?

Answer: If the institution plans to establish an endowment or quasi-endowment with some or all of the funds provided, enter the value of funds to be placed in endowment within the 2016-17 fiscal year.

13. After an endowment has been established, can it be liquidated?

Answer: Yes, but all draws from the endowment must be spent on approved uses based on the guidelines below.

14. If funds are placed into an endowment, do they have to be spent prior to 2027?

Answer: No, the principal may remain in the endowment in perpetuity.

15. If the endowment does not perform well and loses value, how does that affect the spending of the entire amount?

Answer: If the endowment value becomes worth less than the original principal the institution should follow the current underwater endowment policy in place for the institution.

16. Should this distribution be included as revenue in the annual submission of the Membership Financial Reporting System?

Answer: Yes, it should be included in the NCAA Distribution category.

Calculation and payment:

17. Which member schools are eligible to receive these funds?

Answer: Schools that were active Division I members as of the 2015-16 academic year, the year the one-time distribution was announced.

18. When will the funds be disbursed to the membership and will they go directly to each school?

Answer: The funds will be disbursed April 19, 2017. Each school will receive their portion of the distribution directly via ACH (i.e. direct deposit into the school’s bank account on record at the national office). Changes to the bank information cannot be made to accommodate this specific fund.

19. How is the disbursement amount calculated for each school?

Answer: A school’s total revenue distribution equivalencies for grants-in-aid submitted to the NCAA in the summer of 2015 for the 2013-14 academic year multiplied by the unit value. Examples below:

Institution: Calculation (2013-14 academic year): Amount to be received:
Example A Institution 87.35 equivalencies x $3,291 unit value $287,382
Example B Institution 123.65 equivalencies x $3,291 unit value $406,809
Example C Institution 165.32 equivalencies x $3,291 unit value $543,903
20. What is the unit value for this one-time distribution?

Answer: The unit value is $3,291. $200 million divided by total revenue distribution equivalencies for grants-in-aid reported by Division I schools.

21. What is an “equivalency?”

The equivalency value/award is calculated by dividing the athletics grant amount by the school's “full grant amount or total cost for tuition, fees, room and board, and course related books” as reported on the school’s squad list. If using the NCAA Compliance Assistant software, this equivalency value should already be calculated on that squad list in the far-right column labeled “Rev. Dist. /Equivalent Award”.

22. What academic year is the data based on to calculate the distribution?

Answer: The most recent, complete grants-in-aid equivalency data from the 2013-14 academic year will be used.

23. What is the disbursement for each institution?
24. Will there be an escalating multiplier similar to the normal grants-in-aid distribution based on the level of athletics grants provided by a school?

Answer: No. There will not be tiers that multiply the equivalencies by factors of 1, 2, 10, and 20 as there is in the grants-in-aid distribution.

Spending categories and approved uses:

25. Can the funds be used for existing programming in its current state if the programming falls within the categories listed for these funds?

Answer: No, the funds are to be used for new programming or to enhance existing programming.

26. Can the funds be used for capital improvements?

Answer: Yes, if the funds are used in a manner that supports the four categories of academic success: life skills and career success, health and safety and student-athlete focused diversity and inclusion initiatives. (Please note the examples of plans that will not be approved in the next question and answer.)

27. Examples of plans that will not be approved are as follows:

Coaches’ salaries, strength and conditioning equipment, capital improvements or other expenditures designed to improve athletic performance, athletic competition experiences or fan experiences.

28. Are there guidelines for appropriate spend categories?

Answer: Yes, please reference the attached guidelines.

29. For the health and safety of the student-athlete, can funds be used to increase staff in the athletic training room?

Answer: Yes, the funds are intended for the physical and mental well-being of student athletes. Services provided by athletic training personnel to support these initiatives are allowed. However, the funds cannot be used to pay for initiatives primarily meant to improve athletic performance (e.g. strength and conditioning coach).

30. Can other expenses related to attendance (cost of attendance) be paid for with these funds?

Answer: Yes.

31. Can athletically related equivalency awards and full grants-in-aid (tuition, fees, room, board and course related books) for the regular academic year (Fall and Spring terms only) be funded from the one-time distribution?

Answer: No.

32. Can the funds be used towards guaranteed four-year scholarships?

Answer: No. (The original memorandum to membership on March 10, 2016 inadvertently included guaranteed four-year scholarships in the list of allowable uses.)

33. Can funding be used for summer school scholarships that would enable student- athletes to take summer classes?

Answer: Yes, summer school scholarships are an allowable expense.

34. Can scholarship funds be set aside for student-athletes who have become medical non-counters due to an incapacitating injury or illness?

Answer: Yes, a scholarship can be provided to a medical non-counter student-athlete as long as the scholarship is spent by the June 30, 2027 deadline.

35. Can the Special One-time Division I Revenue Distribution be used to fund benefits for international student athletes?

Answer: Yes, international students are eligible to receive funds from the Special One-time Division I Revenue Distribution.

36. Can the programming be specific to non-students?

Answer: No, the target audience should be for students, and specifically student-athletes. Other groups may attend general sessions provided to students. However, individualized sessions for non-students or programming specific for non-students is not permissible.

37. Can the funds be used in a manner that benefit student athletes within a specific sport?

Answer: Yes, as long as the funds are spent according to the plan.

38. Can the funds be used to provide Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disaster relief to student-athletes and/or their families?

Answer: Yes. Institutions are responsible for the administration and appropriate tracking of these funds.  Institutions are encouraged to use careful judgment in determining the needs and appropriate allocation of these funds.

Suggested Potential Uses:

The funds are provided for the direct benefit of the student-athlete and their academic success, life skills, career success, health and safety and student-athlete focused diversity and inclusion initiatives. Schools have discretion in allocating funds among these areas.

Academic support:

  • Enhanced academic advisor services.
  • Academic advisory resources.
  • Tutoring resources.
  • Full cost-of-attendance scholarships.
  • Computers: desktops, laptops and tablets for use in academic advising or tutoring.
  • Educational materials for use in academic advising or tutoring.

Life skills and career success programs:

  • Enhanced guidance counseling.
  • Financial literacy programs.
  • Career coaching and job placement services.
  • Adversity training.
  • Anger management programs.
  • Etiquette training.
  • Leadership development speakers or materials.
  • Life skills programming.

Student-athlete diversity and inclusion initiatives:

  • Student attendance at equity- or inclusion-focused education or professional development event.
  • Campus equity or inclusion workshops for students.
  • Creative presentations to raise awareness of equity or inclusion issues.
  • Cultural competency coaching.
  • Events to encourage women and ethnic minorities to pursue careers in athletics.
  • Guest speaker(s) on equity or inclusion topics.
  • Internship programs for female or ethnic minority students.
  • Service or mentoring activities with a focus on equity or inclusion awareness.
  • Student-Athlete retreat focusing on equity and inclusion issues.

Student-athlete health and well-being

  • Nutritional needs.
  • Mental health programs
  • Enhanced mental health counseling.
  • Alcohol abuse prevention programs and/or speakers.
  • Concussions education (e.g., Impact Program)
  • Health and safety educational materials.
  • Healthy relationships/sexual health and abuse education.
  • Nutritional/diet information materials.
  • Access to nutritionist or nutrition education.
  • Portable AED units.
  • Rest/recovery education.
  • Session for staff or student-athletes: identify signs or symptoms of depression.
  • Treatment by sports psychologist for stress management, anxiety, burnout and life balance.
  • Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disaster relief