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DI Council addresses enforcement issues, sport committees

Committee composition, slight revisions to DI enforcement process on agenda

The Division I Council met Oct. 4-5 in Indianapolis to consider a heavy agenda at its last meeting before the deadline to introduce new proposals for the 2016-17 legislative cycle. The lineup saw members review potential new rules intended to enhance the student-athlete experience by being more clear about time commitments  and alter recruiting rules in football and women’s basketball

Enforcement proposals

The Council also adopted as noncontroversial legislation fine-tuning the infractions processes. The proposals represent the first phase of recommendations coming from the Division I Enforcement and Infractions Review Group, a body formed by the Board of Directors to undertake a review of processes. The legislation would:

  • Add the absence of prior Level I or Level II violations for a school or other party to the list of mitigating factors that could warrant a reduced penalty.
  • Allow schools greater flexibility in selecting a representative to be present for enforcement interviews on campus with student-athletes or athletics department staff members.
  • Allow cases to be heard by three-member panels based on the individual case. Current rules require a minimum of five members on each panel. Allowing three members will expedite cases that don’t require extensive review.

The proposals are effective Aug. 1, 2017.

The Council introduced into the regular legislative cycle a fourth proposal, which would expand the ranges of penalties set forth in the penalty matrix, specifically for guidelines related to scholarships, probation and show cause penalties.  The broader ranges would allow the Committee on Infractions additional flexibility and avoid unintended consequences.

Council members felt the changes deserved more conversation, and members will vote on the proposal in April. It would be effective on Aug. 1, 2017.

Sport committee composition

The group also took some final legislative action. Sport committee representation will change to a five-region model in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and women’s volleyball. The Division I Council, which has final authority to determine those committees’ makeup, adopted the changes to committee composition in those sports, effective for committee terms beginning Sept. 1, 2017, and after.

The change adds a region in both men’s and women’s basketball but eliminates three regions in all the other sports. The reduction in those sports is anticipated to provide an opportunity to enhance the candidate pool and provide greater flexibility in nominations and selection of committee members.

The changes in all sports will allow committee representation to be more equitably distributed across the country.

Basketball had four regions (East, South, Midwest and West) represented on the committee with no more than three members from one region. The new model added a Southeast Region, which essentially splits a larger proposed South Region in half:

  • East Region – America East, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast, Colonial, Metro Atlantic and Northeast conferences with the Ivy and Patriot leagues.
  • Midwest Region – Big East, Big Ten, Mid-American and Missouri Valley conferences with the Horizon and Summit leagues.
  • South Region – Big 12, Ohio Valley, Southland, Southwestern Athletic and Sun Belt conferences with Conference USA.
  • Southeast Region – American Athletic, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Mid-Eastern, Southeastern and Southern conferences.
  • West Region – Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences.

The representation of subdivisions doesn’t change. Six of the members will represent the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, and the remaining four members will represent conferences from the Football Championship Subdivision or conferences without football.

Institutional Performance Program

The Council dissolved the Committee on Institutional Performance and developed a plan to transition any remaining work to the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee. The move allows the committee, charged with planning for the division’s future, to monitor the data collected by the institutional performance program and address issues as they arise.

The program compiles data already submitted by a school in a number of areas, including academics, the student experience and finances. Schools can review their own information and see how they compare to similar peers in those key areas.