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DIII Strategic Planning and Finance Committee endorses nearly $2 million a year in budget cuts

Reductions for fiscal years 2021-24 would help offset $9 million shortfall due to COVID-19

The Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee endorsed championship and nonchampionship budget cuts of nearly $2 million annually for fiscal years 2021-24 to offset budget shortfalls due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee met Thursday by videoconference.

The cuts are necessary in light of this year’s budget shortfall of about $9 million. The three years of reductions also will allow the division to maintain its mandated reserve policy (50% of the annual revenue) through 2023-24. The Division III Management and Presidents Councils will review and finalize the recommendations during their summer meetings.

“The work of the Presidents Council and the Division III leadership has always been to preserve the integrity and experience of student-athletes,” said Fayneese Miller, chair of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee and president at Hamline. “The budget savings that are being implemented ensure that the NCAA is able to maintain its commitments to student and member institutions while at the same time preparing, in a thoughtful and informed manner, for the challenges due to COVID-19 now and in the future. If we are to thrive in the future, it is necessary to take corrective and decisive action now.”

The estimated cost savings from championships is $1.32 million annually, with the Championships Committee recommending not reimbursing local ground transportation in team sports and individual/team sports and suspending the pilot program (currently in year one of two) that separates conference opponents in the first round of a championship.

The nonchampionship expense reductions of up to just over $600,000 include fewer participants at the Student-Athlete Leadership Conference, reducing the purchasing website credit for the Division III Identity Program, limiting the scope of work for 360 Proof (formerly Drug Education and Research), reducing campus-based student-athlete leadership programs and funding just three award recipients to attend the NCAA Convention and reception for the LGBTQ Inclusion Program. There also were reductions to the Athletics Direct Report Institute and Faculty Athletics Representatives Fellows Institute.

The committee also endorsed the 2020-21 division strategic plan for the councils to approve.

Division III Commissioners Association Conference Grant Subcommittee

The Division III Commissioners Association Conference Grant Subcommittee made three requests that the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee approved using Tier 1 and Tier 2 funds. Tier 1 funds focus on professional development, education and communication, while Tier 2 funds are spent on social responsibility and integration:

  • Allow the use of Tier 2 funds for personal protective equipment effective immediately.
  • For 2020-21, allow the use of Tier 2 funds for medical testing/screening equipment for COVID-19.
  • Allow the use of Tier 1 senior woman administrator funding for attendance at WeCoach, a membership organization dedicated to the recruitment, advancement and retention of women coaches of all sports and levels.