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DII Management Council backs notification of transfer model

Two other proposals recommended for 2020 Convention

A proposal to adopt the heavily discussed “notification of transfer” model in Division II is one step closer to a membership vote. The Division II Management Council this week voted to recommend the Presidents Council sponsor the proposal for the 2020 NCAA Convention. The Presidents Council will consider the proposal at its next meeting, which begins April 30 in Indianapolis.

The proposal would replace the Division II permission-to-contact legislation for four-year student-athletes with a model similar to the one recently adopted in Division I, which requires schools to submit a student-athlete’s written request for transfer in the new transfer portal. The Management Council previously supported a similar proposal in 2018 that was then tabled by the Presidents Council in August pending further review and discussion. Last month, the Division II Legislation Committee recommended a revised proposal: Unlike the first concept, the new proposal would not permit a school to reduce or cancel a student-athlete’s athletics aid for the following term after receiving the student’s written notification of transfer. Under current legislation, Division II schools cannot reduce or cancel athletics aid in response to a student-athlete’s request for permission to contact another school about a potential transfer.

The proposal’s revision was born out of apprehensions from the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Presidents Council, which both expressed concern about giving schools the ability to reduce or cancel athletics aid immediately.

The Management Council reviewed and supported the new proposal at its meeting this week in Indianapolis.

“The transfer portal and the notification of transfer model is a positive step for Division II and our student-athletes,” said Laura Liesman, athletics director at Georgian Court and chair of the Management Council. “When we saw it before with the financial aid piece, I think it caused some institutions and the council to have some concerns about whether we’re being punitive with that model. We think this is a more student-athlete-friendly model.”

Like the new model in Division I, the proposed Division II model would give more control to student-athletes looking to transfer. A Division II school would no longer be able to prevent a transfer student-athlete from receiving an athletics scholarship at a new school by refusing to grant permission to contact. The student-athlete’s current school would be required to submit the request for transfer in the portal within seven calendar days of receipt. Schools still could deny use of the one-time transfer exception, preventing the student-athlete from competing immediately at the new school and requiring the individual to sit a year in residence.

Although use of the transfer portal is not required in Division II, many schools already use it. About a third of the student-athletes who are now in the portal are Division II student-athletes.

Diversity and inclusion designee

The council also recommended a proposal that would require every school and conference to establish an athletics diversity and inclusion designee who would be the point person for all diversity-and-inclusion-related information among conference offices, campuses and the NCAA. The proposal was recommended by the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee and is being considered in all three divisions. The designation could be given to a staff member who is either internal or external to the athletics department. The Presidents Council will review the concept and determine whether to sponsor it for the 2020 Convention.

Season of competition legislation

The Management Council also recommended the Presidents Council sponsor a proposal pertaining to season of competition legislation for transfer student-athletes. The proposal would specify that a student-athlete transferring from another NCAA division, a two-year college or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics would be subject to the season-of-competition legislation applicable to the school where the student-athlete competed, rather than Division II legislation, when determining whether the student-athlete used a season of competition during prior athletics participation. Current Division II legislation requires schools to reassess a transfer student-athlete’s participation history before enrollment at the Division II school to determine how many seasons of competition a student-athlete used before transferring to a Division II institution. The Division II Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement and the Legislation Committee recommended the change to base this assessment on the legislation of the division or organization where the participation occurred.

The concept was brought forth to the Management Council as a noncontroversial proposal, but the council felt such a change should be discussed more thoroughly and voted on by the entire membership. Like the other proposals, the Presidents Council will review this concept at its upcoming meeting.