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2020 NCAA Convention: Division III Preview

Division III representatives next week will vote on 11 proposals at the 2020 NCAA Convention in Anaheim, California, including adding several sports to the Emerging Sports for Women list. The delegates also will consider a resolution that could impact the future of championship scheduling in baseball and softball.

Key proposals include adding equestrian, acrobatics and tumbling, and women’s wrestling to the Emerging Sports for Women list; requiring schools and conferences to designate an athletics diversity and inclusion designee to be the primary contact for all diversity and inclusion-related information; permitting out-of-season leadership programming; and allowing schools to provide snacks and nutritional supplements incidental to athletics participation. The Division III Business Session is slated for an 8 a.m. start on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The Division III Issues Forum from 8 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24., will include a session on generational gaps in the workplace and discussions on potential changes to name, image and likeness rules within the division.

In the Association’s continuing efforts to support college athletes, in October, the NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model. Each division now is working toward modernizing its rules to allow the additional flexibility within principles and guidelines set by the Board of Governors.

More than 100 Division III student-athletes will be in attendance at NCAA Convention between National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meetings, the Division III Student Immersion Program and conference delegates.   

More information on events regarding Division III at the 2020 Convention is available here.

Division III legislation set for consideration at the 2020 NCAA Convention

Proposal Title Sponsor Intent What would it change?
2020-1 NCAA MEMBERSHIP — ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP AND MEMBER CONFERENCE — CONDITIONS AND OBLIGATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP — ATHLETICS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION DESIGNEE Presidents Council (Management Council, Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee) To specify that an active member institution or conference shall designate an athletics diversity and inclusion designee to be the primary contact and conduit for diversity- and inclusion-related information. Would require member schools and conferences to designate an athletics diversity and inclusion designee to be the primary contact for all diversity- and inclusion-related information.
2020-2 DIVISION MEMBERSHIP — APPLICATION PROCESS — PROVISIONAL INSTITUTION — REDUCE WAITING PERIOD FROM FOUR YEARS TO THREE YEARS PLUS AN EXPLORATORY YEAR American Collegiate Athletic Association, American Southwest Conference and USA South Athletic Conference To amend legislation related to the Division III provisional process as follows: (1) For non-NCAA members, reduce the provisional process from four to three years; (2) Expect that process will continue to require an exploratory year; (3) While a waiver of exploratory membership will remain in place, there will no longer be a waiver during the provisional process; (4) Specify that if an institution is unable to gain full active membership within this time frame, there is a one-time opportunity to repeat a year in question, through the recommendation of the Membership Committee.   Would reduce the waiting period for Division III membership from four years to three years plus an exploratory year.
2020-3 DIVISION MEMBERSHIP — APPLICATION PROCESS —RECLASSIFYING INSTITUTION —REDUCE WAITING PERIOD FROM FOUR YEARS TO THREE YEARS American Collegiate Athletic Association, American Southwest Conference and USA South Athletic Conference To amend legislation related to the Division III reclassifying process as follows: (1) For current NCAA members reclassifying to Division III, reduce the number of years in the reclassifying process from four to three years; (2) The process will eliminate the one-year exploratory membership requirement; (3) Specify that if an institution is unable to gain full active membership within this time frame, there is a one-time opportunity to repeat a year in question, through the recommendation of the Membership Committee.   Would reduce the waiting period for Division III membership from four years to three years.
2020-4 AWARDS AND BENEFITS — HOUSING AND MEALS —EXCEPTIONS — SNACKS AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS INCIDENTAL TO PARTICIPATION Alvernia University; Berry College; University of Dubuque; East Texas Baptist University; Emory University; Farmingdale State College; Hardin-Simmons University; Howard Payne University; Knox College; LeTourneau University; Loras College; University of Lynchburg; Maine Maritime Academy; University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; McMurry University; Moravian College; Salve Regina University; Swarthmore College; Sweet Briar College; University of Texas at Dallas; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; and Wilmington College (Ohio) To specify that an institution may provide snacks and permissible nutritional supplements to student-athletes as a benefit incidental to participation in intercollegiate athletics.   Would allow schools to provide snacks and nutritional supplements incidental to participation in athletics.
2020-5 AWARDS AND BENEFITS — EXPENSES PROVIDED BY THE INSTITUTION FOR PRACTICE AND COMPETITION — PERMISSIBLE PRACTICE EXPENSES — EXCEPTIONS FOR GOLF AND SWIMMING AND DIVING American Rivers Conference and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference To allow an institution to provide practice expenses in the sports of golf and swimming and diving during an official vacation period regardless of location. Would allow schools to provide practice expenses for student-athletes in golf and swimming and diving during a vacation period regardless of location.
2020-5-1 AWARDS AND BENEFITS — EXPENSES PROVIDED BY THE INSTITUTION FOR PRACTICE AND COMPETITION — PERMISSIBLE PRACTICE EXPENSES — EXCEPTION FOR GOLF[MJ1]  American Rivers Conference and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference To allow an institution to provide practice expenses in the sport of golf during an official vacation period regardless of location. Would allow schools to provide practice expenses for student-athletes in golf during a vacation period regardless of location.
2020-6 ATHLETICALLY RELATED ACTIVITIES — LEADERSHIP PROGRAMMING OUT-OF-SEASON INVOLVING ATHLETICS RELATED INFORMATION AND CONTENT (GENERAL IN NATURE) North Coast Athletic Conference and Upper Midwest Athletic Conference To allow student-athletes serving in a team leadership capacity to voluntarily participate in leadership programming involving general, athletics-related content/information outside of the declared playing season with any member of an institution’s coaching staff, provided the content of the programming does not include any: a) Field, floor, or on-court activity; b) Setting up offensive or defensive alignment; c) Chalk talk; d) Lecture on or discussion of strategy related to the specific sport of the student-athlete(s); e) Activities using equipment related to the sport; f) Discussion or review of game films, motion pictures or videotapes related to the sport; or g) Any other athletically related activity. Would allow student-athletes serving as leaders on their teams to participate in leadership programming outside the playing season with any member of the coaching staff, so long as athletics activity is not involved.
2020-7 DIVISION MEMBERSHIP — PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASONS — EMERGING SPORTS FOR WOMEN —  WOMEN’S EQUESTRIAN Adrian College; Albion College; Alfred State College; Alvernia University; Berry College; Bethany College (West Virginia); Bridgewater State University; East Texas Baptist University; Emory University; State University of New York at Geneseo; University of Lynchburg; Morrisville State College; Nazareth College; State University of New York at New Paltz; Roger Williams University; Randolph-Macon College; Salve Regina University;  Sweet Briar College; Wentworth Institute of Technology; Wesleyan College; and Wilson College. To add Equestrian as an emerging sport for women and establish legislation related to playing and practice seasons and membership.   Would add equestrian to the Emerging Sports for Women List.
2020-8 DIVISION MEMBERSHIP, PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASONS — EMERGING SPORTS FOR WOMEN — ACROBATICS AND TUMBLING Division III Management Council To add acrobatics and tumbling as an emerging sport for women and establish legislation related to playing and practice seasons and membership. Would add acrobatics and tumbling to the Emerging Sports for Women list.
2020-9 DIVISION MEMBERSHIP, PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASONS — EMERGING SPORTS FOR WOMEN — WOMEN’S WRESTLING Division III Management Council To add women's wrestling as an emerging sport for women and establish legislation related to playing and practice seasons and membership. Would add women’s wrestling to the Emerging Sports for Women list.
2020-10 NCAA MEMBERSHIP — MEMBER CONFERENCE — ELIGIBILITY — COMPOSITION OF CONFERENCE — PROVISIONAL AND RECLASSIFYING MEMBERS AS CORE MEMBERS Division III Presidents Council; Division III Management Council To specify that institutions in years three and four of the NCAA Division III provisional and reclassifying membership process may count toward the requisite seven institutions necessary to make up a conference, provided there are at least four active member institutions. Would allow schools in year three and four of the provisional and reclassifying membership process to count toward the required number of schools necessary to make up a conference, as long as the conference has at least four active members.
2020-11 DIVISION MEMBERSHIP — SPORT CLASSIFIED IN DIVISION I — APPLYING DIVISION I LEGISLATION Management Council To permit Division III member institutions with Division I sports to apply all Division I legislation, except Bylaw 15 (financial aid), to the Division I sports. Would allow Division III schools with Division I sports to apply all Division I rules to those sports except financial aid rules.

Resolution 2020-12, sponsored by the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, Commonwealth Coast Conference, Great Northeast Athletic Conference, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and North Eastern Athletic Conference: Asks the Division III Softball and Baseball Committees to work together on a plan to address concerns about timing of the championship tournaments in those sports for implementation no later than the Spring 2023 season.