NCAA Division III



I hope this quarterly update finds you and your campus well as the spring semester commences. It is with a great sense of responsibility that I continue to chair the Division III Presidents Council.  I thank all departing members for their hard work and dedication to this Council. This quarterly update highlights the recent 2018 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, including a legislative review, an update on the Issues Forum, and other items of interest.




During the Business Session, Division III delegates approved seven of eight proposals and one key amendment. Voting results can be found here. In particular:

Proposal No. 4, sponsored by the Presidents Council, permits those who have graduated from Division III institutions and have remaining athletics eligibility to compete at another Division III institution. The student-athlete must be seeking a second baccalaureate or graduate degree, and participation must occur in the legislated 10-semester/15-quarter period. Delegates adopted this significant proposal, which became effective immediately, by a large margin.

Proposal No. 5, a Presidents Council sponsored proposal, would have altered the football preseason start date and made the first permissible practice date 25 days before the first permissible Saturday contest date. This proposal also assured a day off from physical athletic related activity during the first six days of the preseason and a day off during each remaining week of the preseason, in conjunction with on-field activity not exceeding four hours per day and no practice session lasting more than three hours. Delegates defeated the proposal 168-182-113. In February, the Sport Science Institute is hosting an inaugural Task Force on Football Data from the 2017 football season.  Further, the Division III Football Committee will have a teleconference to discuss the outcomes of the task force discussions and propose next steps.  In April, the Council will discuss and potentially act on waivers for the 2018 preseason that likely will focus on the same waivers that were relevant to the 2017 preseason.   


Division III held its annual Issues Forum on Friday, January 19. The format encouraged membership engagement by presenting delegates with scenarios about making ethical decisions in athletics, and also discussed using athletics as an enrollment driver while ensuring a positive experience for student-athletes. We then received an inspirational update regarding our Division III Special Olympics partnership from Special Olympics athlete Mitch Bonner. A video of Mitch's remarks can be found here.


The Division III FAR Working Group is focused on making FARs better involved with student-athletes on their campuses by taking additional steps to strengthen engagement. The working group anticipates creating information sheets for campus leaders that detail the value a long-tenured, highly engaged FAR can bring to student-athletes. Further, it is articulating an educational orientation model for new FARs, including a potential grant program. The working group's full list of next steps to increase engagement can be found here


In August, the NCAA Board of Governors adopted a policy that requires coaches, college athletes, and athletics administrators to complete annual education in sexual violence prevention. Leaders at each NCAA institution - the school president or chancellor, athletics director, and Title IX coordinator - must attest annually to the education. An NCAA electronic compliance form will be available beginning March 1, 2018 and must be completed by May 15, 2018.  A list of schools that have attested to meeting the policy requirements will be presented in a report to the Board of Governors in August 2018, then published on 


The Division III LGBTQ Working Group distributed a survey in Oct. 2017 to presidents and athletics direct reports, athletics administrators and coaches, student-athletes, and commissioners. There were more than 4,500 responses, including 2,500 from student-athletes. Click here  for an executive summary of the survey results. Next steps include: educational programs for coaches, inclusive template language for policies and handbooks, and providing LGBTQ signage for institutions and conference offices.  


The Presidents Council, in a meeting with other Division III presidents; discussed the advantages and challenges to establishing mandatory student-athlete graduation rate reporting. The data could serve as a vital tool for creating evidence-based best practices to improve the graduation/retention rate of football student-athletes and ethnic minority men, but could present an administrative burden for member institutions. Approximately 200 Division III-member schools voluntarily reported student-athlete graduation rates during 2017. This spring, the Presidents Council and Management Council will have a chance to consider a related 2019 legislative proposal from the Division III Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.

The Council received an update on the current pilot to permit the sale of beer and wine at select championships. The pilot expires in the spring 2018. The Council tasked staff to gather more data (e.g., how many Division III schools currently sell alcohol, how many Division III future champs venues sell alcohol, how many venues would meet the current minimum championship alcohol pilot parameters, etc.). The Division III Championship Committee will review this data during its February in-person meeting then provide an update to the Councils in April. Ultimately, the sale of alcohol at championships is a federated decision and it would take a separate membership vote at the Convention to permit the sale of alcohol at Division III championships. 

It is my hope that the quarterly update provides the necessary and critical information you need to assist you in the oversight of Division III athletics on your campus. You can find a full recap of the January Presidents Council meeting here in addition to the Summary of Actions that highlights all recent Council actions. I welcome any comments or questions. Good luck with the spring semester!


Dan Dutcher

Vice President for Division III

Louise McCleary

Managing Director of Division III

Jay Jones

Associate Director of Division III

 Adam Skaggs

Assistant Director of Division III Governance Communications

Debbie Kresge

Executive Assistant for Division III

Debbie Brown

Administrative Assistant for Division III

National Collegiate Athletic Association, 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204 US

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