This update is a tool to enhance communication between the NCAA national office and the Division III membership, with distribution to athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives, presidents, national SAAC, conference commissioners and the NADIIIAA listserv. We encourage athletics directors to share this communication with their athletics department members. Please contact Louise McCleary to include an item or share comments, and remember to check out the Division III governance
homepage for the latest news and information.
On March 12, the NCAA released a statement from President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors that announced the cancellation of all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships for all three divisions. This decision was based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat and the NCAA’s ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic. The Division III Administrative Committee has been convening weekly, and to date, it has taken the following actions, effective immediately, on behalf of the Division III Management and Presidents Councils:
Approved a blanket waiver of any deficiencies in sports sponsorship requirements related to spring sports occurring as a result of actions taken in response to COVID-19. This would not apply to sports-sponsorship issues related to fall or winter sports.
Approved a blanket waiver for all student-athletes participating in spring sports as follows:
Waive the use of a season of participation for all student-athletes in spring sports. If an institution continues or restarts its season, this relief would still exist; and
Waive the use of the spring semester toward their limit of 10 semesters/15 quarters regardless of whether they used a season.
Provided institutions flexibility to act in the best interest of their student-athletes with respect to playing seasons provisions and extra benefits through the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year. The committee directed staff to assist with applying flexibility in these areas on a case-by-case basis, when requested by institutions. Examples include allowing flexibility for playing season adjustments occurring during the spring 2020 semester and flexibility to assist students with travel, lodging, and meals associated with being displaced due to their campus being closed.
Took NO action regarding current recruiting restrictions or recruiting legislation. The establishment of recruiting “dead periods” in other divisions, as reported by national media, does not apply in Division III.
Approved a blanket waiver for 2019-20 that provides conferences relief for any unspent funds within each tier of the conference strategic grant per the policies and procedures due to COVID-19.
Approved a one-year blanket waiver to Aug. 1, 2021, for conferences that received rollover funds for 2019-20.
The Administrative Committee also endorsed recent recommendations by the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee (SPFC) regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the Division III budget. Click here for a recap of the SPFC teleconference. In planning for the 2020-21 budget, the committees made three principle charges:
Review the entire proposed 2020-21 budget, including proposed championships budget increases.
Review and prioritize the "supplemental" championships initiatives (enhanced ground transportation for individual and team sports, avoiding conference opponents in first round contests, enhanced travel parties in team sports). When the supplemental initiatives were initially approved, they were identified as items for first review if financial circumstance made it necessary.
Consistent with a charge to the national office, review all staff-administered in-person programs for possible improvement of efficiency and delivery. SPFC will review these recommendations during its June meeting.
The division’s current revenue projections for 2020-21 remain on track. The reduction to the Division III budget reserve was significant in 2019-20, and the governance structure continues to monitor and ensure that a significant and effective budget reserve remains through the end of the current broadcast agreement with CBS/Turner (2023-24). Staff is optimistic that the governance structure can achieve that goal while retaining the majority of our current championships and nonchampionships programming.
Arrington Concussion Settlement
In accordance with the Arrington Concussion Settlement Agreement, certification is optional for NCAA member schools, however, certification provides certifying institutions with an opportunity to benefit from a release from certain legal claims that might otherwise be brought by members of the settlement class. To benefit from the release, member institutions must certify in writing, on or before 11:59 p.m. Central time May 18
that they have put in place a concussion management plan that meets the requirements of Section IX. A of the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement does not provide for any opportunity for an extension or waiver of that deadline and the deadline should be considered permanent and immovable.
A certification website and electronic certification process have been established and will be managed by third-party settlement administrator Epiq Mass Tort (EPIQ). In addition to the instructional information about the certification process, the Sport Science Institute has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document that contains answers to anticipated membership questions related to the certification process. A copy of the certification FAQ can be accessed here. SSI appreciates the efforts required to comply with the certification requirements, especially during these extremely challenging times. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Name, Image and Likeness
On Feb. 20-21, the Interpretations and Legislation Committee met and discussed the feedback collected during the roundtable discussions that focused on the use of student-athletes’ name, image and likeness during the Division III Issues Forum at the 2020 NCAA Convention. ILC has developed broad concepts that it will share with the membership via an April 1 webinar. The concepts and membership feedback will be shared and reviewed at the April meetings of the Division III SAAC and Management and Presidents Councils. In the spring and early summer, the membership will have additional opportunities to provide feedback. The governance structure will propose legislation, and the division will act no later than the January 2021 NCAA Convention. Additional information can be found on the Division III section of the NIL webpage on ncaa.org.
Mental Health Social Media Campaign
The Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is excited to announce that it will launch its inaugural 2020 Mental Health Social Media Campaign, May 4-7. This campaign is a platform for student-athletes, administrators, coaches, and staff, and support networks across the country to start the discussion, speak out on, and break the stigma surrounding mental health. The goal of this campaign is to use social media to create a dialogue on mental health and to communicate the benefits of normalizing mental health. Check out the campaign’s webpage and start to plan your campaign strategy.
2019-20 NCAA Board of Governors Policy on Sexual Violence Attestation Form
The 2019-20 attestation form is available for download here. Whether the deadline or attestation process will be altered this year given the unique circumstances on campus has not yet been determined. The NCAA will communicate any changes to the membership as soon as possible. Please continue to direct any questions to email@example.com.
The Academic Portal is open to enter the required Federal Graduation Rates and Academic Success Rate (ASR) data. Data will be entered under the "Graduation Rates" tab in the portal and are due June 1. Please contact Maria DeJulio or
Eric Hartung with any questions.
Division III Webinars
A webinar offering updates on the impact of the coronavirus on the division will occur from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, Tuesday, April 7.
Future webinars will be from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Eastern time on the following dates and topics:
May 5 – Federal and State Legislation Working Group Update (Name, Image and Likeness).
All past webinar PowerPoints are on the Division III website.
Nominate Now: LGBTQ OneTeam Recognition Awards
During these uncertain times, Division III and the office of inclusion continue to identify opportunities to celebrate and bring visibility to our student-athletes, coaches and administrators and member institutions and conferences. We are proud to announce the new annual LGBTQ OneTeam Awards - the perfect opportunity to recognize those who foster inclusive environments! Celebrate student-athletes, coaches and staff who self-identify as members of the LGBTQ community, as well as athletics departments or conference offices who make collegiate athletics a welcoming space for everyone. The application period is now open. Visit the
NCAA Program Hubto submit nominations until June 1. The recipients will be announced at the 2021 NCAA Convention.
Division III Week
The NCAA Division III team has decided to continue to conduct Division III Week during April 13-19, in an appropriate format. Division III Week will provide an opportunity for all individuals associated with a Division III institution or conference to unite and recognize the powerful impact of athletics and student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community as a chance to help carry us through this challenging time. Join the social media dialogue and tell us #whyd3 was the right choice for you or the life lessons learned from being a Division III student-athlete that go beyond the sport itself. The Division III Week Communications Kitserves as a planning guide, and further information about Division III Week is available online. Please let us know, in advance, all planned Division III Week activities, either by submitting information through the online form, or sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions, please contact Adam Skaggs.
2019-20 Identity Initiative Purchasing Website
Have you checked out the new items recently added to the Division III purchasing website? Do you still have purchasing website credit remaining? The site now includes United As One banners for purchase! Log in through My Apps and select the Division III Purchasing icon or click here. Do not forget that a $500 credit is available for each institution and conference through August 2020 for purchases from the site. Access the site by entering the email address of your institution's director of athletics (or for conferences, the commissioner's email address) as the username. Then enter the password you created. For assistance, contact Kristen Zeedyk at Source One Digital.
On behalf of everyone with 360 Proof, we hope your students, colleagues, and campus community are as safe and healthy as possible. As we look for ways to serve our students virtually/remotely, and as many people find themselves working from home, our library of recorded webinars can be revisited and reviewed.
Consider tips for summer planning discussed in the March 27, 2015, webinar. And, as you plan for next year and are considering a plan for substance abuse prevention, re-watch the webinar from Oct. 25, 2017, with Jessica Wagner, Jason Kilmer and Leah Kareti discussing the NCAA Substance Abuse Prevention Toolkit and 360 Proof.
360 Proof offers a monthly webinar series to bring current prevention research to a Division III and NASPA Small College and University audience. The final session for this year:
1 p.m. Eastern time April 8: "Engaging Parents as Partners in Prevention”, Amaura Kemmerer, Northeastern University.
All 360 Proof account holders will receive an invitation to attend these webinar sessions. Contact Leah Kareti with any questions about 360 Proof.
The Division III 2020 New FAR Orientation will be conducted in conjunction with the FARA Annual meeting Nov. 4-7 in Indianapolis. FARs with less than two years of experience are invited to apply for the program which focuses on understanding the Division III model of athletics, exploring the role of a Division III FAR, and enabling participants to get the most out of the FARA Annual meeting. Also, participants will have the opportunity to build networks of new and experienced FARs, and to establish goals for engagement in the role. Applications will be open in the Program Hub from June 15 to Aug. 15, and the program grant covers all attendee expenses. Contact Leah Kareti with any questions.
The Fourth Annual NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance Concussion Conference scheduled for Thursday, April 23 has been canceled due to the evolving public health situation involving COVID-19. At this time, the Sport Science Institute fully anticipates hosting the Fourth Annual Concussion Conference in the spring of 2021. The exact date and location of the conference is still under consideration. Additional details will be made available to the public later this year. Registered participants are responsible for adjusting any existing personal travel arrangements, including flight or hotel plans.
COVID-19 and Mental Health
COVID-19 has caused disruption to everyone. It is important to be aware of the potential negative impact that a crisis can have on our mental and physical health, often because of a breakdown in self-care. The NCAA Sport Science Institute has developed a webpage with resources.
During this time of crisis and behavioral risk mitigation, it is important to pay attention to your health, which includes healthy exercise. Even though winter and spring NCAA championships have been canceled, exercise, including strength and conditioning, can be maintained with these guidance considerations.
NCAA staff would like to put a bow on winter sports statistics and records. By Friday, April 3, please review your team and individual statistics, records, attendance and single-game highs and email changes to David Worlock. The NCAA is working quickly to publish final statistics soon after the deadline, so staff can begin working on other projects such as final attendance figures and records book updates for fall and winter sports.
While the NCAA did not reach a typical point of conclusion for winter sports, that season will be treated as final, given that all institutions either finished their seasons or played the majority of their contests. Plaques will be awarded to the statistical champion in select categories (see page 21 of the NCAA Statistics Polices and Guidelines for additional information).
As for spring sports, seasons had just begun and will be handled differently. The NCAA understands that some leagues and schools have suspended spring seasons while many others have canceled all remaining contests. Should play resume, staff will continue to run statistics. Any single-game records by a team or individual will be recognized, as will career marks and coaching records. In the extreme unlikelihood of a single-season totals record (versus a calculated one) being established, those will be recognized. Because so many of the seasons were not close to completion, the NCAA is not going to include individual or team per-game averages among records, nor will
national statistical champions be named.
We trust you understand the reasoning for this approach and welcome any input or questions you have on any of these issues. Please know that staff is working to appropriately designate cancelled spring contests in the statistics database. For any questions or concerns, contact David Worlock.
NCAA and D3SIDA Recognition Award
The next submission round for the NCAA Division III and D3SIDA recognition award runs through May 1. Click herefor more details. The award is a partnership between the Division III governance staff and the Division III College Sports Information Directors of America. The recognition program is part of the Division III Identity Initiative. It seeks to honor the best news releases, feature articles, videos, blogs and other materials produced by Division III campus and conference athletics communication offices to portray the Division III identity and student-athlete experience.
New Jersey City University is the recipient of the March Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative. NJCU implemented the Rising Knight Institute to support the growing needs of underrepresented and diverse student-athletes. As a subset of RKI, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has taken the helm to highlight and support the diverse student-athlete population. The peak of this year’s diversity andinclusion campaignwas a video showcasing the various countries represented on the NJCU soccer teams as they relate to the national soccer teams (see video here). Click
here for the additional information.
The Diversity Spotlight Initiative recognizes and promotes outstanding diversity related projects, programming and initiatives occurring on Division III campuses and in conference offices. All selected recipients receive $500 toward their next diversity initiative. To submit an initiative for consideration for May, email Louise McCleary, with a brief statement (no more than 500 words) as to why your institution or conference office deserves to be the spotlight recipient. Attach a video or photo if applicable. The nomination deadline is April 21.
Diversity Tip of the Month
The NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators. Click here for resources designed to help institutions and conferences establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds.
The NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll is a story-telling initiative on ncaa.org/D3SpecialOlympics. It features new stories each month that highlight a Division III and Special Olympics joint activity or event. The story with the highest number of votes on the 25th day of each month is the winner. That institution or conference receives $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event. Written and digital submissions both are accepted. Featured stories are selected based on inclusion of the student-athlete perspective and Division III messaging. To submit a story for consideration, email email@example.com.
On March 13, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Division III Administrative Committee approved blanket waivers and took other actions that provided the Division III membership with relief from the application of various Division III legislation [See Hot Topics
section of this update]. The following is an excerpt from a question-and-answer document addressing questions the AMA staff has received concerning the blanket waivers and an institution’s responsibility when a blanket waiver is provided. The full Q&A resource will be released to the membership by Fri., April 3.
Q: What is a blanket waiver? A: A blanket waiver is a decision by an appropriate governance body to temporarily provide relief from NCAA legislation for specific extenuating circumstances that have a reasonably demonstrated widespread impact.
Q: Does an institution have to file anything to receive the benefits of a blanket waiver? A: No. An institution does not have to submit a separate waiver request to receive the benefits/exceptions granted in the blanket waiver. The waiver applies to all institutions and/or student-athletes that are addressed/described in the blanket waiver.
Q: What is the effect of the blanket waivers approved by the Division III Administrative Committee? A: The blanket waiver from the Division III Administrative Committee does the following:
An institution’s failure to satisfy sports sponsorship requirements related to spring sports for the 2019-20 academic year resulting from actions taken in response to COVID-19 will not result in a violation of the conditions and obligations of membership.
Any spring sport student-athlete will not be charged with a season of participation or the use of semester.
Q: Does the blanket waiver impact a fall or winter student-athlete? A: No. The blanket waiver is specific to student-athletes who are spring sport student-athletes in 2019-20. If the student-athlete is a multi-sport student-athlete that participates in a spring sport, then the blanket waiver would apply to the student-athlete’s spring sport participation.
Rule of the Month
Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Progress – Bylaw 14.02.5. Per Bylaw 14.02.5, the phrases "good academic standing" and "satisfactory progress" are interpreted at each member institution by the academic officials who determine the meaning and application of such phrases for all students. In response to COVID-19, many Division III campuses have transitioned to alternative class delivery methods (e.g., online classes) for the remainder of the academic year. How these terms are applied and interpreted on a member’s campus will not change. The institutional authorities on your campus will
still determine the meaning of good academic standing and satisfactory progress. For example:
Question: Our institution is implementing a pass/fail grading option (for all classes) exclusively for the spring 2020 semester in response to COVID-19. How would this affect our student-athletes eligibility?
Answer: A move from a letter grading system to a pass/fail system is under the discretion of the academic authorities at your institution. If an institutional decision is made to alter grading to respond to COVID-19, the new grading scale will be used to determine good standing and satisfactory progress for your student-athletes in the same way it is interpreted and applied to the student-body.
Regional Rules Seminar
As a reminder the May and June 2020 NCAA Regional Rules Seminars will be conducted remotely. NCAA staff is working through logistics related to this decision including details on an updated schedule of sessions, alternative delivery methods and opportunities to remain engaged with NCAA staff. All updated information will be shared on the Regional Rules Seminars webpage and LSDBi as soon as possible.
Please note that Regional Rules Seminar registration and any hotel reservations booked through the registration system will be cancelled on the registrants behalf by the Shorts Travel Management staff and registrants will receive a cancellation email by the end of next week. Any vendors and nonmembers who paid registration fees will be fully refunded. If you have any immediate questions regarding this announcement, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your patience. We will share additional information as soon as it becomes available.
Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport
This email was sent to NCAA Division III chancellors and presidents serving on committees, directors of athletics, athletics direct reports, faculty athletics representatives, senior woman administrators, sports information directors, compliance directors, commissioners, associate and assistant commissioners, provisional, reclassifying and exploratory members, primary and associate members of National SAAC based on contact information in the NCAA Directory.
National Collegiate Athletic Association, 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204 US