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Division III Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Blanket Waivers

The NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief (SLR, formerly ARS) may issue a blanket waiver in order to temporarily provide relief from NCAA legislation for specific extenuating circumstances that have a reasonably demonstrated widespread impact.  Please note that the following summary of waivers is for a specific division (Division III), a specific time period and for a specific set of circumstances.  If the waiver circumstances and the time period of the waiver apply, submission of a separate waiver application is not necessary.  If an institution, conference or committee's circumstances do not meet the requirements of, or are dissimilar to, the blanket waiver, a Legislative Relief waiver application will need to be filed with the NCAA staff.

NCAA Division III Presidents Council and Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Approves Blanket Waiver for 2021-22 Academic Year – Eligibility Waiver – Full-Time Enrollment – Requirement for Practice or Competition – Bylaw 14.1.8.1. - Approved April 28, 2021.

The NCAA Division III Presidents Council and Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief approved a blanket waiver for the 2021-22 academic year allowing a student-athlete to participate while enrolled less than full time as follows:

  1. If a student-athlete has graduated, prior to the 2021-22 academic year, then they may be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours each semester or quarter in a second baccalaureate, graduate program or classes approved by an academic authority outside of athletics that progresses the student-athlete toward a professional or career goal. 
  2. If a student-athlete will graduate during the 2021-22 academic year, the student-athlete may:
    1. Enroll in a minimum of six (6) hours of academic credit during the Fall 2021 term and then enroll in the classes necessary to complete their degree per the final term exception (Bylaw 14.1.8.1.7.1) for the spring semester of 2022; or
    2. The student-athlete enrolls in the classes necessary to complete their degree per the final term exception (Bylaw 14.1.8.1.7.1) for the Fall 2021 semester and then is enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours for each subsequent term for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year (e.g., Spring 2022 semester) in a second baccalaureate, graduate program or classes that progress the student-athlete toward a professional or career goal and are approved by an academic authority outside of athletics. 

[The above criteria would apply to quarter institutions on the same equivalent basis.]

In issuing this waiver, the subcommittee noted that as a result of the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020-21 academic year, student-athletes were effectively granted an additional year and season of eligibility. The subcommittee recognized that for students that will graduate during the 2021-22 academic year or who have graduated, a certain level of enrollment flexibility is appropriate to allow these students to use this additional year during the 2021-22 academic year.

The subcommittee further noted that this blanket relief does not address all situations and therefore does not preclude institutions from seeking individual relief through the normal waiver process for their student-athletes that do not satisfy the criteria for this blanket waiver.

Please see RSRO Case No. 1131128 for additional information regarding the specific relief.  Additional information regarding blanket waivers can be found on the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief homepage.

[References:  NCAA Division III Bylaw 14.1.8.1 (Requirement for Practice or Competition)].

NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Approves Blanket Waiver for NCAA Bylaw 17.02.1.1 (athletically related activities). Approved December 04, 2020.

The NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief approved a blanket waiver to allow Division III swimming student-athletes who have achieved a 2021 United States (U.S.) Olympic Team Trials qualifying time (or for Paralympic or international student-athletes: the equivalent event) to continue to receive coaching instruction from their collegiate coaches through the U.S. Olympic Trials, beginning June 13, 2021. 

For student-athletes who have not achieved an Olympic Trials qualifying time by the end of their institution’s declared season, the waiver permits Division III swimming coaches to continue providing coaching instruction from that date through events ending by the entry deadline for Olympic Trials.  To qualify for this portion of the waiver, a student-athlete must achieve a time within one percent for events 200 meters/yards or longer and two percent for events 100 meters/yards or shorter of either the long course meters or short course yards time standards for the 2019 U.S. Open Championships.  This portion also allows an institution to provide a qualifying student-athlete with expenses to participate in qualifier meets until the entry deadline for Olympic Trials.  In order for student-athletes to continue to be coached by their collegiate coach beyond the entry deadline, student-athletes must achieve an Olympic Trials qualifying time no later than that date.

In issuing this waiver, the subcommittee noted the elite and unique nature of the U.S. Olympic Trials.  See Case No. 1078206 in Requests/Self-Reports Online (RSRO) via the search tab. Additional information regarding blanket waivers can be found on the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief homepage.

[References:  NCAA Division III Bylaws 17.02.1.1 (athletically related activities) and 17.1.5 (out-of-season athletically related activities)]

NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Approves Blanket Waiver for NCAA Bylaws 13.02.10 (Telephone Calls), 13.02.11 (Electronic Transmissions) and 13.10 (Publicity) – Approved July 23, 2020.

The NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief approved a blanket waiver to allow Division III member institutions to use virtual platforms to conduct recruiting activities involving multiple prospective student-athletes. The subcommittee noted the waiver is designed to provide institutions with flexibility to continue to recruit prospective student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic and should be effective while the governance structure explores potential legislative change (extending possibly through 2022 NCAA Convention should a legislative proposal be sponsored and adopted, or terminated as early as September 1, 2021, should a legislative proposal not be sponsored).

Under this waiver, institutions may conduct recruiting activities that:

  1. Are delivered on a virtual platform (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, conference calls) including those platforms with an enabled public chat function during any time of year;
  2. Involve multiple prospective student-athletes, including outside groups, regardless of age or grade level, and their families at one time;
  3. Include athletics recruitment-specific presentations to multiple prospective student-athletes regardless of who initiates the event;
  4. Include content delivered by institutional athletics and coaching staff, other members of the campus community (e.g., admissions, financial aid), alumni and other permissible recruiters, and current student-athletes provided the student-athletes' involvement is voluntary, occurs only during the academic year, and does not result in missed class time; and
  5. Publicize only the informational details about the virtual recruiting event, rather than promote or publicize the participation of individual or a group of prospective student-athletes.

Specifically, the subcommittee issued the blanket waiver in response to Division III membership feedback that indicated virtual recruiting has become an effective and cost-efficient means of recruiting for Division III institutions and should continue to augment, rather than replace, existing recruiting options. This blanket waiver is aligned with the guiding principles expressed by the membership for virtual recruiting including protecting against concerns about monitoring, involvement of student-athletes, and publicity of virtual recruiting events. Lastly, continued athletics recruitment is essential for successful enrollment management at many Division III institutions.  See Case No. 1106236 in Requests/Self-Reports Online via the search tab. Additional information regarding blanket waivers can be found on the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief homepage.

[References:  NCAA Division III Bylaws 13.02.5.1 (permissible recruitment activities for enrolled student-athletes), 13.02.10 (telephone calls), 13.02.11 (electronic transmissions), 13.1.1.1 (high school prospective student-athletes) and 13.10 (publicity)]

NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Approves Blanket Waiver for NCAA Bylaws 13.02.5 (Student-Athlete), 13.02.7 (Prospective Student-Athlete), 13.2.1 (Offers and Inducement—General Regulation), 14.1.8.1 (Full-Time Enrollment Requirement for Practice or Competition), 14.5.2 (Conditions Affecting Transfer Status) and 17.1.5 (Out of Season Athletically Related Activities) - Approved June 25, 2020.

The NCAA Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief approved a blanket waiver to allow a committed prospective student-athlete (e.g., institution has received the prospective student-athlete’s  financial deposit in response to the institution’s offer of admission) to participate in virtual team meetings permitted by the flexibility provided by the Division III Administrative Committee (March 13 directive and March 26 clarification) up to the institution’s first day of classes for the fall term or the team’s first day of practice, whichever is earlier. Additionally, like student-athlete participation in virtual team meetings during the summer, prospective student-athlete participation must be voluntary. Lastly, prospective student-athletes for purposes of this blanket waiver would include incoming prospective student-athletes beginning initial collegiate enrollment and transfer prospective student-athletes.

In issuing this waiver, the subcommittee noted that the Division III Administrative Committee’s rationale in providing institutions with flexibility regarding their interactions with student-athletes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic applies to their interactions with committed prospective student-athletes. Specifically, the increased flexibility should be exercised for the purposes of fostering the well-being of the prospective student-athletes and/or the connectivity between and among  prospective student-athletes,  student-athletes and  respective coaches and institutions.

See Case No. 1104449 in Requests/Self-Reports Online via the search tab. Additional information regarding blanket waivers can be found on the Subcommittee for Legislative Relief homepage.

[References:  NCAA Division III Bylaws 13.02.5 (student-athlete), 13.02.7 (prospective student-athlete), 13.2.1 (offers and inducement—general regulation), 14.1.8.1 (full-time enrollment requirement for practice or competition), 14.5.2 (conditions affecting transfer status) and 17.1.5 (out of season athletically related activities)].

NCAA Division II Presidents Council and Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Approve Blanket Waiver: NCAA College Basketball Academy – Approved October 2019

The NCAA Division II Presidents Council and Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief approved a five-year blanket waiver (i.e., July 2020 – July 2024) permitting Divisions II and III men's basketball coaches employed at institutions, located in the surrounding area of an institution selected to host an NCAA College Basketball Academy (“academy”), to coach participants of the academy.

In granting this request, the Division II Presidents Council and the Division III Management Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief noted:

  1. The Commission on College Basketball recommended the NCAA establish youth development camps to disassociate its members from the objectionable aspects of nonscholastic basketball;
  2. The academy will increase the scholastic influence and minimize the involvement of outside third parties in the recruiting process;
  3. The academy will create new resources and programming for youth basketball participants; 
  4. The academy will provide professional development opportunities for Divisions II and III men's basketball coaches; and
  5. Divisions II and III coaches may not engage in recruiting conversations with participants or their families during the academy.

See Case Nos. 1081952 (Division II) and 1088259 (Division III) in Requests/Self-Reports Online via the search tab. Additional information regarding blanket waivers can be found on the Committee for Legislative Relief homepage.

[References:  NCAA Division II Bylaw 13.12.2.5.2 (other noninstitutional privately owned camps/clinics); NCAA Division III Bylaw 13.11.3.2 (sports camps and clinics and other athletics events]

Four Sites Selected for NCAA College Basketball Academy