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Division II prohibits certain drills and activities for football

Division to consider further changes to preseason model

The Division II Management Council and Presidents Council voted Monday to immediately prohibit certain football activities and drills that may increase the probability of head impact exposure and do not simulate gamelike scenarios.

The prohibited athletic activities include drills that encourage or create straight-line contact, as specified in policies and procedures established and maintained by the Division II Football Committee and the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

After the Management Council recommended the prohibition, the Presidents Council approved it via emergency legislation in order to protect the health and safety of student-athletes. Feedback from several groups, including a survey of Division II head football coaches, supported the change. 

Division I voted in May to prohibit the same activities and drills, while also approving other changes to its preseason football model. The modifications were informed by a number of data points that suggest the preseason practice period may lead to a disproportionate amount of concussions and head impact exposure, including, among others, information from NCAA member conferences, the NCAA injury surveillance program and the NCAA-Department of Defense Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium.

Division II will consider other modifications to its preseason football model. Any additional changes are expected to be proposed through the traditional legislative process and voted on by the membership at the 2022 NCAA Convention in January.

“Division II will continue to engage key stakeholders from within the membership, including student-athletes, coaches and medical professionals, as other potential changes to football are discussed and developed,” said Sandra Jordan, chair of the Division II Presidents Council and president at the University of South Carolina Aiken. “Our priority will always be the safety of student-athletes and any future changes made will reflect that commitment.”

Name, image and likeness

The Division II Management Council and Presidents Council members also received an update regarding the name, image and likeness proposal, including the effective date and potential plan for adoption in the division.

Provided it is feasible to do so, both groups are expected to vote on a legislative proposal regarding name, image and likeness during their next meetings on June 29. The proposal was recommended by the Division II Legislation Committee in May. The proposal has not changed from what the division was set to vote on at January’s NCAA Convention, except the effective date was altered to July 1. Moving up the effective date — previously set at Aug. 1 — would provide greater consistency in the name, image and likeness opportunities available to student-athletes nationally as state laws become effective on or around July 1.